Following Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes‘s speedy divorce settlement, sources tell PEOPLE she will have primary custody of Suri in New York with generous visitation for Cruise. Two legal experts, not involved with the case, weigh in on the following additional questions:
Did Tom cave in to Katie’s demands?
“I don’t see this as Cruise folding under pressure,” says New York family law attorney Bernard Clair. “This is about one parent who wanted out of a disintegrating marriage, and they ultimately both made the wise decision to keep their daughter out of a potentially ugly battle and media circus. For Cruise to allow his daughter to be with Holmes in New York was clearly a mature decision and sacrifice in his daughter’s best interest.”
Adds L.A. family law attorney Bob Nachshin: “I think Cruise was advised by his attorneys that this was the best resolution to avoid a messy fight over who’s the more fit parent, which Cruise likely wasn’t going to win. Who knows if Holmes was willing to air his dirty laundry, but she already had the upper hand just based on his extremely demanding work schedule.”
This divorce settled so quickly. Is that normal?
“The speed was shocking,” says Nachshin. “In my 34-year career, I’ve only settled one divorce that fast.”
But Clair disagrees: “Divorces come in all shapes and sizes, this was not surprising at all. Half of what made this divorce so swift was their prenup, which already ensured their financial settlement.”
Was this divorce a clear victory for Katie?
“From a strictly monetary point of view, I wouldn’t say Holmes won at all,” says Nachshin. “Cruise is walking away the victor because his fortune will remain intact because of the prenup. But it’s obvious Holmes wasn’t out for money; this was more about parenting rights and living life on her own terms.”
Regarding Suri living away from her father, Clair says: “For a multimillionaire like Tom Cruise, who travels to film sets all over the world, having his daughter in New York or flying her to L.A. at a moment’s notice is not a total hardship.”
Agrees Nachshin: “With a private jet and his New York home, the hassle of traveling is totally minimized. It’s just a minor inconvenience. The important thing for the child is being with the parent she’s most bonded with.”
What did Katie get for child support?
Child support is never included in a prenup because custody matters always change over time, Nachshin explains. “But children are legally entitled to the lifestyle they were accustom, and because of Cruise’s astronomical income, you can rest assured that both mother and child will live comfortably for the rest of their lives.”