While Tom Cruise is no stranger to divorce procedures, the way that his split from Katie Holmes is playing out might seem completely foreign to the Golden Globe winner. We're breaking down the major differences in Holmes' divorce strategy versus that of Cruise's ex Nicole Kidman.
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After her 2001 breakup, Kidman admitted to being blindsided by Cruise's divorce filings. This time around, it seems that the tables have turned, as Holmes was the one to deliver the initial blow.
"There's a psychological advantage to filing first," says family law lawyer Lisa Helfend Meyer. "Especially when you have been married to an older man that is very controlling and very wealthy. You need to put them off kilter."
Both women were 33 at the time of their respective breakups, and they both had children with Cruise. In Kidman's case, custody of adopted children Connor and Isabella was awarded to her, but the kids later preferred to live with their father.
For the current settlement, it's 6-year-old Suri who's at the center the estranged couple's custody battle. No matter who gets custody of their daughter, Lisa Helfend Meyer says that Cruise's affiliation with the Church of Scientology will have no bearing on the decision.
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"In California, a court cannot consider a person's religion against them in awarding custody," says Meyers.
Watch the video for more.