By now you may have heard the big news: Katie Holmes has filed for divorce from Tom Cruise. Doesn't it seem like just yesterday that Tom was jumping off a sofa over Katie? Well here's the other shocker of the day: Katie is demanding sole legal custody of their daughter Suri.
Meanwhile Tom's rep released a statement saying, "Kate has filed for divorce and Tom is deeply saddened and is concentrating on his three children. Please allow them their privacy to work this out." Some are saying Tom was blindsided by the filing. I hope Katie's request for sole custody doesn't mean they're in for a nasty custody battle. I think someone should ask: What does Suri want?
Family therapist Ruth Bettleheim says that when it comes to deciding child custody in a divorce, the parenting plan should include input from the kids if they're old enough. What if Suri loves her dad and wants to spend more time with him?
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All joking about Katie's "contract" with Tom expiring aside, this makes me a little sad. It doesn't matter what kind of relationship Tom and Katie had, and it doesn't matter how Suri found her way into that family. Functionally Tom is her father. And IF he's gay* -- I mean, let's just acknowledge that elephant rumor in the room -- that doesn't mean he can't still be a great father for her.
Maybe Katie is angry about something that happened with Tom. Maybe she doesn't want Suri exposed any more to Scientology. Who knows? But I cringe on Suri's behalf for the custody battle that may be coming. I hope, when the dust from today's flurry of announcements settles, Tom and Katie take the time to find out what their daughter wants. And I hope she'll be able to have a solid, healthy relationship with both of them.
*That's a big IF -- I'm just addressing rumors, not speculating or trying to pass that off as a factual statement.
How much say do you think children should have in custody arrangements?
Image via AOL.com