When Katie Holmes filed for divorce from Tom Cruise on June 29, the request for the dissolution of the couple's five-year marriage came seemingly out of nowhere -- but was somehow completely expected at the same time.
Those shocked by Holmes' decision to file for divorce, might be interested to learn that according to court documents obtained by the National Enquirer, the couple's marriage was "irretrievably broken" at least six months prior to the date on which the actress filed papers in New York State Supreme Court. What "broke" their marriage, we may never know, but it's worth noting that because New York is not a no-fault divorce state, legal language requires that one party must claim the couple suffered irreconcilable differences for a period of at least six months.
Court documents state that though Cruise, 50, and Holmes, 33 tied the knot in front of friends and family in a posh ceremony in Italy on Nov. 18, 2006, they were legally married in a civil ceremony in Los Angeles seven days earlier, and a prenuptial agreement was acknowledged and signed by Holmes months earlier.
Holmes was reported to be "very happy" with the divorce settlement, which requires Cruise to pay $400,000 a year to cover the couple's 6-year-old daughter Suri's needs, including tuition and medical expenses, until she turns 18.
According to the legal documents, if for some reason Cruise were to miss a payment he could be facing jail time for a term less than six months. Given that Cruise is worth an estimated $270 million, and was named the highest paid actor in Hollywood by Forbes earlier this year, it's highly unlikely the actor or his ex-wife (whose own net worth is estimated to be around $25 million) are worrying about him missing payments.
The divorce has been an adjustment for everyone, including young Suri, who just finished her first month at Avenues -- New York's newest private school, which has the first grader already learning to speak Mandarin. The split has reportedly been tough for Cruise, who is close to his daughter. After it had been reported that the actor hadn't seen Suri in person for more than a month, his lawyer stepped in to assure the public that Cruise is in frequent contact with his child.
"He loves Suri and is a constant presence in her life," his attorney Bert Fields explained to E! News. "As in the past, when he's shooting in a foreign country, he has to rely on daily phone calls."
UPDATE: This post has been updated to include additional information about New York divorce law.
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