As most Ohio readers are probably aware, Katie Holmes has filed for divorce from Tom Cruise, her husband of five years. Although the ending of a match made in Hollywood is not surprising news, the fact that Katie is seeking sole custody of the couple's 6-year-old daughter, Suri, is quite unusual. This is because in most cases when both parents are considered fit, joint custody is generally granted.
Although courts in certain states may be more likely to grant sole custody, it is quite rare for that to happen. When considering the best interests of the child, it is generally the case that courts want to see both parents involved in the child's life. Unless one parent can show some kind of outrageous and dangerous behavior on the part of the other parent, sole custody is not likely.
The divorce between Holmes and Cruise has an entirely different dimension given the fact that Cruise is a longtime Scientologist. According to reports, this was the ultimate breaking point for Holmes, who is not a devoted follower of the religion. Scientologists generally eschew modern medicine and avoid the use of therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists and medication. It's possible that Holmes could argue that Cruise's dedication to the religion could potentially put their daughter in danger should she require such medical care in the future.
If a divorce is amicable, parents generally agree to joint custody giving them both the right to make major decisions regarding their children. Holmes requesting sole custody in a divorce filing that allegedly "blindsided" Cruise indicates that the divorce could be anything but amicable. Given the amount of money and power that each party in this divorce has, there's no telling how complicated the proceedings could get. Although his devotion to Scientology could affect Cruise's chances of receiving custody, if the religion is a source of strength, he may need it now more than ever.
Source: FoxNews.com, "In seeking sole custody, does Katie Holmes need evidence Tom Cruise is a dud dad?" Hollie McKay, July 2, 2012