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Katie Holmes' sole child custody filing apparently moot

Maryland residents have likely heard about one of the most unexpected celebrity break-ups in a long time. Katie Holmes, the wife of Tom Cruise, filed for a divorce several weeks ago. She shocked a lot of star watchers by reportedly seeking sole custody of their 6-year-old daughter, Suri.

It was widely reported that Holmes was seeking sole child custody due to her objections to having the girl raised in the Church of Scientology. Her husband is one of its most famous members.

Sole custody is very rarely granted in divorces these days. Sole custody means that only one parent is responsible for making all of the major decisions in the child's life. It is only under extreme and compelling circumstances that a court will grant a parent sole custody.

All that said it appears now as if the issue is moot. Attorneys for both Holmes and Cruise reported earlier this week that despite the suddenness of the filing, the couple have resolved all their divorce issues and have signed an agreement to that effect. A statement issued by Cruise doesn't offer details but does say that he and Holmes have agreed to support each other, respect each other and parent in the best interest of their child.

That seems to indicate that some form of joint custody has been arranged. Under that situation both parents will have some semblance of equal rights regarding the decisions involved in raising the child. Courts widely believe that joint custody arrangements are in the best interest of the child.

There has also been a great deal of speculation regarding whether Holmes and Cruise signed a prenuptial agreement prior to their marriage. Once again, no details are available as to whether this is true or not, but it is generally believed that the existence of a prenuptial agreement is likely.

A prenuptial agreement is commonplace among celebrities. It's designed to identify an individual's assets prior to entering a marriage, so that those assets are adequately protected should the marriage fail in the future.

Source: The Washington Post, "Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes have signed divorce papers," Jen Chaney, July 7, 2012; Los Angeles Times, "Katie Holmes-Tom Cruise split centers on Scientology, sources say," Richard Winton, July 2, 2012

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