The mission seemed almost impossible — but Katie Holmes has won primary physical custody of her daughter with Tom Cruise in a lightning-fast divorce settlement announced Monday. Less than two weeks after the “Dawson’s Creek” actress filed for divorce, the sparring spouses have signed a private pact that will avoid a Suri-related slugfest in court, their lawyers confirmed. “The case has been settled and the agreement has been signed,” Holmes’ lawyer, Jonathan Wolfe, said in a statement to the Daily News.
“We are thrilled for Katie and her family and are excited to watch as she embarks on the next chapter of her life,” he said. “We thank Tom’s counsel for their professionalism and diligence that helped bring about this speedy resolution.”
Holmes, 33, is getting primary physical custody, while Cruise, the most high-profile member of the controversial Church of Scientology, will receive significant custodial time, TMZ reported. The deal includes restrictions on Suri’s exposure to Scientology that ease as the celebrity spawn gets older.
Cruise reportedly arrived back in the States shortly after word of the settlement became public. Before it was known that the A-list former lovebirds had reached an agreement, they released a joint statement hinting they would share parenting responsibilities. “We are committed to working together as parents to accomplish what is in our daughter Suri’s best interests,” the statement from their respective reps said.
It also made a not-so-subtle reference to Holmes’ concerns about Scientology. “We want to keep matters affecting our family private and express our respect for each other’s commitment to each of our respective beliefs and support each other’s roles as parents,” it said. Raised a Catholic in Ohio, the beautiful actress announced the bombshell breakup on June 29 after secretly setting herself up with a new apartment in Chelsea and making plans to replace her longstanding security squad. “Katie Holmes did an amazing job. She definitely got the upper hand positioning her case the way she did,” New York divorce lawyer Lubov Stark told The News.
“She got custody being really aggressive and giving Tom a bit of a preview of the media attention he’d get if he didn’t come to the settlement table.”By making a bold request for sole legal custody in Manhattan, Holmes was taking advantage of a law that requires New York judges to choose one parent to receive sole custody if they can’t agree on shared custody.
“It would have opened the door to a very lengthy process with a forensic evaluation, an attorney for the child and the judge going through all these steps,” Stark said. “There would be statements by lawyers and always a lot of publicity. The exposure would be there, with all the conjecture involving the Church of Scientology.”