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Why did Katie Holmes file for divorce in New York?

Most everyone has probably heard about Katie Holmes filing for divorce from Tom Cruise and asking for full custody of their daughter, Suri. Those living in New York have a front row seat right now because the case was filed in New York where the couple have a home. However, that may change. There are some who say Holmes' filing the divorce in New York may not be valid.

Experts are beginning to share their opinions on the Cruise-Holmes divorce. They are indicating that they believe it would be in Cruise's best interests to see the divorce play out in California, where the couple are said to have lived most of the time. While they do have a home in New York, jurisdiction is typically based on continuous residency for the past year.

So, with there being a real possibility that the case will be challenged on jurisdiction for lack of residency, why did Holmes file for divorce in New York? With a prenuptial agreement likely in place, the main issue in this divorce may be custody of Suri. And legal experts observe that courts in California are more prone to grant joint custody. In other words, there's a possibility that Holmes' chances of getting sole custody of Suri are potentially higher in New York than in California.

As sad as it is to see a family tearing apart, this very high profile divorce and ensuing custody battle provide valuable lessons for anyone in New York seeking to file for divorce. Regardless of the status of those involved, the laws regarding divorce and child custody are intended to be applied evenly. Anyone wanting to file for divorce would do well to ensure that their rights are protected and that they fully understand their rights and responsibilities when faced with these issues.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Tom Cruise stands to gain if Katie Holmes divorce moves to California," July 3, 2012