As Katie Holmes prepares to divorce husband Tom Cruise, legal experts are saying she will not be able to use Cruise’s practicing of Scientology as a defense to get sole custody of her 6-year-old daughter.
“If there are tenets in the religion that spell out certain ways to raise a child and Katie doesn’t feel that’s working for Suri, maybe because she’s acting out a lot, or not doing well in school, or has developmental issues, then that would be what she uses – the litmus test would be what is in the best interest of the child,” said Los Angeles-based divorce lawyer Grace Jamra to Radar Online.
Bernard Clair agrees. “If I were Katie’s lawyer, I wouldn’t use religion as a factor but if she has particular examples of practices that she may believe to be detrimental to Suri’s wellbeing that Tom uses then I would highlight those before the judge rather than specifically using Scientology,” said the New York-based lawyer.
Holmes announced that she would be filing for divorce via her lawyer on Friday after six years of marriage. Evidently, the filing came as a surprise to Cruise. “Tom is deeply saddened and is concentrating on his three children,” Cruise’s publicist said in a statement. “Please allow them their privacy to work this out.”
Cruise is currently without legal representation but his estranged wife has already hired two lawyers according to the Los Angeles Times, Allan E. Mayefsky, who handled Christie Brinkley’s divorce and Jonathan Wolfe.
According to People Magazine, Holmes and Suri have already moved out of the apartment they shared with Cruise in New York City. “