Many Illinois residents are likely reading with interest about the brewing child custody battle involving Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise. For divorcing parents who are looking to gain sole custody of their children, the case may be especially meaningful. The initial Holmes-Cruise sparring may bring into focus the grounds necessary for an award of sole child custody.
Most states, including Illinois, prefer that parents share joint custody, as long as both are fit. That way, the child's relationship with both parents is maintained, which is considered to be in the child's best interest. In order to prove that sole custody would be preferable, Holmes will need to show that Cruise is an unfit parent, something there doesn't seem to be any public evidence to support.
While many legal experts are skeptical she will be able to secure sole custody of their child, others are not so certain. Because of Cruise's strong affiliation with the Church of Scientology, in which the teachings are opposed to psychiatry, psychology and medication, certain legal experts believe that she may have a valid case to make. They speculate that Holmes might claim that Cruise is unfit because of her expectation that he would prevent the child from receiving medicine or support services that she might need. While Katie Holmes may need further evidence, the position may provide a basis from which to advance her concerns.
Child custody can be a difficult subject for any couple. This is especially true for the many Illinois families who want the best for their children. Unfortunately, what parents may consider to be the best interest of the children may not be in line with what a judge might determine. That being said, it may be best for divorcing parents to sort out their differences on custody and parenting issues together so that they can present a collaborative plan for the court's consideration.
Source: Fox News, "In seeking sole custody, does Katie Holmes need evidence Tom Cruise is dud dad?," Hollie Mckay, July 2, 2012