I wish I had a better title for this piece, but I don’t. I debated even writing about this, but since I write about divorce I thought I would give it a shot. I just want to slap my forehead every time I see anything about this ridiculous divorce. I say ridiculous because I know many of my readers are fellow divorced men and women, few of whom had divorces that even remotely resembled this farce. I think what annoys me the most is how easy it seems for both parties to simply walk away from this marriage. According to the press and their respective publicists, Katie acquired an apartment without Tom’s knowledge and hit him with divorce papers right before his birthday and while he was out of the country. They both secure top counsel and work out a settlement in less than two weeks time, including child support and a custody agreement.
Who in holy hell has a divorce like this? I don’t know of any couple, including some who are extremely wealthy who managed a feat quite like this. The whole thing just screams either blackmail on the part of Ms. Holmes or fraud. So either Katie Holmes has information that would incredibly embarrass Tom Cruise and that is why he is so quick to settle, or the marriage was a ruse from the start. I don’t know and I don’t really care. I think I have gotten so angry towards this drama because it perpetuates a myth that getting divorced is somehow easy. For starters they aren’t divorced yet, they only reached a settlement. Their paperwork will still have to make it through the court system and the courts don’t care how much money you make or how much you paid for your attorney. Everyone has to get in line behind every other couple already waiting in New York state. Rumor has it that Manhattan is quicker than Brooklyn, but it should probably take at least a couple of months before they are truly legally divorced. Their divorce will go through more quickly thanks to no-fault divorce in New York state. Before the changes in New York state divorce law Katie would have had to file for legal separation and waited a year before moving forward.
No divorced couple I know has ever settled this quickly. It is especially odd since divorce attorneys of the very wealthy actually like to stretch these things out as long as possible as it increases their fees. Also for Tom to give Katie full custody without much of a fight at all, just seems flat-out bizarre. Most judges would have given him joint custody, he has no criminal record, no substance abuse, no domestic violence history and he lives the same chaotic lifestyle that his wife does. Some parents get completely screwed over in child custody situations, but someone with Tom Cruise’s deep pockets and squeaky clean record would not have had a problem. He basically got full custody of his two children with Nicole Kidman, and since he was the primary parent of two other children it would only have helped him in court. Something tells me that she had some incriminating evidence on him and that is why he might have caved. Or there might also be some credence to the rumors that Suri was not his biological child, and that is why he is walking away from this so quickly and easily. He might have also seen this coming for months rather than being surprised as he claims. Here are some reasons most of us spends months if not years in litigation over a divorce.
- One spouse will stretch out the divorce out of spite
- One side will stretch it out to try to get the other spouse back
- Fighting over every stupid little possession
- The couples engage in a full on custody war
- The couple doesn’t have the funds to pay for a lawyer and court fees
- The two parties cannot decide on an equitable split of assets especially property
- One spouse refuses to cooperate and won’t go to court or get an attorney
- One spouse leaves the state or country to avoid dealing with the divorce
- One spouse is physically threatening the other
- One spouse completely bankrupted the other before they could get a lawyer – clean out bank accounts, drove up credit cards, etc.
For most of us, our lawyers aren’t going to dedicate all of their time for our case. My lawyer forgot about my case and added an extra four months of waiting. He tried to fix the dates on the documents but he let a few slide and it was obvious my paperwork was just sitting on his desk for no apparent reason for at least two months. He was an inexpensive lawyer with dozens of cases, these things happen. With expensive lawyers and huge retaining fees, divorces move quickly I guess.
The lack of passion in the Holmes/Cruise divorce makes me think that the marriage never had any real passion to begin with. If she truly blind-sided him why would he settle so quickly. Watching this unfold is like looking at an alternate universe of how the other half lives…not like the rest of us. And if he thought by settling so quickly he would improve his reputation or avoid scandal his plan backfired. Now more people are even more suspicious of his religion, his sexual orientation and the validity of the marriage. To my fellow divorced friends out there, we know it isn’t like this. Hang in there and when in doubt reach out to someone who has been through it themselves, the 99% don’t wrap everything up so neat and tidy in less than two weeks.