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Cruise and Holmes reach quick agreement over child custody

The suspense is over for Missouri residents who, like the rest of the world, followed the ending of the marriage of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise. The couple reached a settlement on all issues, including child custody, in only 11 days after Holmes filed for divorce.

The former couple issued a statement asking for privacy, indicating that they are working together as parents in the best interests of their daughter. The quick settlement allowed Holmes and Cruise to make the decisions regarding child custody and property division, while keeping the details out of the public eye.

Although Holmes filed for divorce in New York, the couple's statement would meet Missouri requirements. Section 452.375 of the Missouri Revised Statutes requires the court to make decisions regarding child custody in "the best interests of the child."

"Best interests" include things such as the following: the wishes of the child's parents as to custody and parenting; the child's need to have a sincere and meaningful connection with each parent; the ability of each parent to perform his or her intended responsibilities as a parent; the amount of time the child interacts with siblings and parents; and the question of which parent is more likely to allow the child frequent, continuing and meaningful contact with the other parent.

By reaching an agreement, Holmes and Cruise avoided the courts and the public hashing-over these factors. Instead, the ex-spouses made the decisions about their child's future so the family could begin to heal and move forward, a lesson any parents facing divorce might consider.

Source: kait8.com, "TomKat divorce settlement reached," July 9, 2012

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