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Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes agree on primary custody

Many Michigan residents likely followed the recent divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Popular for movies like "Top Gun" and "Mission: Impossible," Tom Cruise is a mega-star. Best known for her role in the popular television series "Dawson's Creek," Katie Holmes became a household name when she married Tom Cruise in 2006. Six years later they are divorced, and their prenuptial agreement was apparently not in dispute and thus not a barrier to their divorce agreement, which was surprisingly settled only 11 days after Holmes filed the divorce papers.

Holmes obtained primary legal custody of the couple's daughter, as well as control of the girl's religious upbringing. Primary legal custody is means that one parent is the primary caregiver of the child. In this particular case, that responsibility is with Holmes. She fought extremely hard to get primary legal custody of her child because she probably felt that that was in her child's best interest. Tom is permitted visitation rights with his daughter, but for now he is not to guide her religious life.

There are different types of custody that a court can determine depending on particular situations. The types of custody are legal, physical, sole or joint custody. Legal custody means a parent has the right to make decisions about the child's education, health and upbringing. Physical custody is when the parent has the right to have the child live with them. Sole custody is when one parent is the only caregiver and provider for the child. Joint custody is when both parents are involved in the rearing of the child.

While it seemed like a quickly agreed-upon divorce settlement, Cruise and Holmes can now focus their time and energy on their relationship with their child. The most important thing to consider in a child custody case -- whether it is negotiated between parents or ruled upon by a court -- is what is in the best interest of the child.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "A big step closer to just being Tom and Kat," Richard Winton and John Horn, July 9, 2012

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