Scientology may explain Holmes' sole custody request

Katie Holmes may be preparing for an interesting day in court. The actress, who recently filed for divorce from Tom Cruise after 5 years of marriage, is reportedly seeking sole legal child custody of their 6-year-old daughter, Suri, in addition to primary residential custody.

Some speculate that Cruise's devotion to Scientology -- a religion whose teachings can oppose traditional medical treatments, including medication and therapy -- may explain why Holmes is seeking sole custody. Holmes may prefer for Suri to benefit from the care of Western medicine. With sole legal custody, Holmes would be responsible for the decision-making aspects of parenting. Those decisions involve virtually all aspects of a child's life -- including medical treatment.

Yet Holmes will likely face a child custody battle, as many anticipate Cruise will want to remain a decision-maker in Suri's life. In that event, a court may find itself baited to make a determination on whether a religious practice is in Suri's best interest. Cruise's lawyers would likely have certain First Amendment responses, no doubt. If Cruise were to win joint custody, he would retain a say in decisions involving Suri's daily life, even when she is not physically present because she is staying in the other parent's residence.

If you are facing a child custody dispute in Florida, an attorney can review your family dynamic and help you understand when it might be best to seek sole custody of your minor children. If you are defending against such a request, an attorney can also aggressively advocate for your parental rights, including a fair arrangement regarding custody and visitation rights.

Source: Fox News, "In seeking sole custody, does Katie Holmes need evidence Tom Cruise is dud dad?" Hollie McKay, July 2, 2012

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