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Lawyer hopes Tom-Kat divorce won't be 'contentious'

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise in happier times. Photo / AP
Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise in happier times. Photo / AP

Is an amicable divorce on the cards for former Hollywood power couple Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes? Mission: Possible, hopes Cruise's longtime legal representative.

The actor's lawyer has spoken out following Holmes' recent announcement that she is pulling the proverbial plug on her five-year marriage.

The 33-year-old actress filed divorce papers in New York on Thursday, citing "irreconcilable differences", and is seeking sole custody of the couple's six-year-old daughter Suri.

She has asked for legal custody, primary residential custody and a "suitable amount" of child support from Cruise, according to gossip website TMZ.

Sources claim Cruise, 49, was "blindsided" by Holmes' decision to file for divorce, and that the actress' decision to seek sole custody of Suri shows the "nastiness" behind the shock split.

"Kate has filed for divorce and Tom is deeply saddened and is concentrating on his three children," Cruise's publicist Amanda Lundberg revealed in a statement over the weekend. "Please allow them their privacy."

"This is a personal and private matter for Katie and her family," Holmes' divorce lawyer, Jonathan Wolfe, said. "Katie's primary concern remains, as it always has been, her daughter's best interest."

By all accounts Holmes has assembled a team of high-profile legal muscle to handle her divorce proceedings.

The erstwhile Dawson's Creek star has hired New Jersey divorce lawyer Jonathan Wolfe and New York attorney Allan E. Mayefsky, according to the Los Angeles Times, both of whom have experience handling high-profile wealthy breakups.

Meanwhile, Cruise has turned to legal rep Bert Fields to help assemble his legal team.

"We're thinking about who to use," said Fields. He added: "We have to discuss strategy."

Reports suggest that Cruise has hired divorce lawyer Dennis Wasser to represent him in his split. Wasser famously represented Cruise in his divorce with Nicole Kidman.

Fields also hopes the former couple isn't gearing up for a courtroom showdown.

"I would hope that it's not a contentious matter," he said. "I know Tom is not a particularly contentious person."

Scandal sheet RadarOnline disagrees.

The website claims that Cruise, who turns 50 on Tuesday, has told pals "there is absolutely no way" he is going to give up his daughter Suri without a fight, and is set to launch rival divorce proceedings in California.

Cruise, who is currently filming upcoming sci-fi flick, Oblivion, in Iceland, will also reportedly ask for joint custody of Suri.

A source said: "Tom will file a response in New York, asking that the divorce proceedings be halted in the Big Apple because California is the proper venue for the matter to proceed. Team Cruise is going to assert that Katie doesn't meet the residency requirements to file in New York, and that both live full time in California, specifically Los Angeles.

"At the same time, Tom will file for divorce in California and will request joint custody of Suri. There is absolutely no way he is going to let Katie have sole custody.

"The lines are being drawn and this is going to shape up as a very contentious custody battle."

The source added: "Tom's lawyers will state in their response to Katie's divorce petition in New York that she didn't reside continuously in New York for a year, as the law states. Yes, they do have a home in New York, but Tom will argue that Los Angeles is where they live, period."

Cruise, 49, and Holmes, 33, were married in an Italian castle in November 2006 after a year and a half together. Guests at the lavish bash included Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith and Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, who served as Cruise's best man.

The pair started dating in 2005, and later became engaged in Paris.

"Yes, I proposed to her. ... It was early this morning at the Eiffel Tower, so I haven't slept at all," Cruise told People at the time, adding: "Today is a magnificent day for me, I'm engaged to a magnificent woman."

Cruise recently dished on his relationship with Holmes in an interview with Playboy magazine.

"She is an extraordinary person, and if you spent five minutes with her, you'd see it," he said. "Everything she does, she does with this beautiful creativity. She's funny and charming, and when she walks into the room, I just feel better. I'm a romantic. I like doing things like creating romantic dinners, and she enjoys that."

This was Holmes' first marriage and the third for Cruise, who was previously married to Nicole Kidman, with whom he has two children, and Mimi Rogers.

In other developments...

* Holmes has packed her bags and moved to a new apartment in New York City with her daughter, according to People.

* Separate bedrooms, separate lives: While the pair were living in New York City in the weeks leading up to Holmes' divorce filing, TMZ reports they were shacked up in separate buildings. Holmes reportedly stayed at the couple's shared Manhattan apartment, while Cruise resided at The Greenwich Hotel.

* The Church of Scientology has denied claims that the organisation has been tailing Holmes. TMZ earlier reported that Holmes allegedly believed that as her marriage hit the skids, the Church put her under surveillance.

* Cruise's commitment to Scientology is reported to have put a strain on the couple's relationship.

"She was never truly comfortable with the Scientology thing," a source close to Holmes told E! News. "It was something she accepted and put up with for many years because it was important to Tom, and for that reason, important to her. But over the past year, they had started to see things differently, and she was beginning to pull away."

* Talk about an unlucky number. All of Cruise's three marriages broke up when his wife at the time was 33 years old.

Cruise married Mimi Rogers in 1987, when she was 31, before they broke up in 1990. He then wed Nicole Kidman when she was 23 in 1990, before they split in 2001, when she was 33. Finally, there's Holmes: 28 when she wed Cruise in 2006, 33 when she filed for divorce...

* Katie Holmes felt trapped in a "horror movie", booms the cover story in the latest issue of Us Weekly. And not just any old celluloid pulse racer...

"Every move she made and everything she did was controlled. She felt like she was in Rosemary's Baby," a snitch tells the mag. "She felt she had to get out to save her daughter."

* As was widely speculated, Cruise and Holmes have a prenup. According to E! News, the contract calls for payouts to Holmes in the event of a divorce, "with specific amounts depending on how long they were married". Division of property and child custody are also covered, but "exact details are subject to negotiation".

* Holmes ultimately cut the Cruise control on her marriage after becoming convinced her hubby would send their daughter Suri to a hardline Scientology "boot camp", according to a new report.

* Back to work: A post-split Cruise has gone to oblivion. No, really. A day after Holmes announced the divorce, Cruise was spotted aboard a helicopter in Iceland where he's filming his new movie, Oblivion. Check out a shady-looking Cruise flying solo here (squinting may be required for positive ID purposes).

* The way they were: Less that two weeks ago, all seemed well with Cruise and Holmes when they were snapped walking hand-in-hand on the streets of Reykjavik, Iceland on June 16.

And that's a wrap.

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