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What Marylanders can learn from the Cruise-Holmes divorce

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Most of our Maryland readers have probably heard by now of the looming quarrel between superstar actor Tom Cruise and his wife Katie Holmes. The whole affair looks to be the quintessential high-asset divorce, with the high-profile couple worth millions of dollars. It is surely a sad and difficult time for the two, as the beginning of the divorce process is often the hardest part, with hurt feelings, hasty asset division and quick decisions to make regarding housing and temporary child custody arrangements. But anyone in Maryland who is thinking about divorce themselves can learn something from this couple's divorce as it plays out, and see similarities to their own potential situation.

Cruise and Holmes have been married since 2006, and they have a 6-year-old daughter named Suri. Most of the initial speculation from those who watch these matters closely indicates that the divorce may have been prompted over an apparent difference in opinion between the couple on how their young daughter would be raised. Sadly, that is a typical reason for marital discord, although many times a compromise is reached and the couple stays together.

Besides the issue of child custody for this couple, however, many will be watching for the eventually asset division of the marital property. In Maryland, for instance, any property acquired during a marriage is usually considered to be part of the marital property for asset division purposes. Cruise is worth by far more than Holmes in terms of wealth and real estate, resulting from a longer and, many would say, more successful acting career. And depending on how the divorce plays out, Holmes may receive a significant amount in a settlement and in child support.

Source: The Washington Times, "Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes: Custody, images at stake in their divorce," Sandy Cohen, June 30, 2012

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