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Katie Holmes in a black skirt and shirt with Tom Cruise© SBM/Plux/Shutterstock

Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise's strict divorce rules for daughter Suri

The Dawson's Creek star and the Mission Impossible actor split in 2012

Nichola Murphy
Deputy Lifestyle Editor
Updated: June 17, 2024
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Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise were once considered one of Hollywood's It-couples, so news of their split in 2012 came as a shock to fans.

The couple tied the knot in November 2006 in Odescalchi Castle near Rome, Italy, and during their six-year marriage, they welcomed their daughter Suri.

Dawson's Creek star Katie is often seen spending time in New York City with the 18-year-old after she was granted full custody of her daughter in the divorce settlement. See the other divorce rules Tom and Katie agreed to follow to prioritise her well-being. 

Katie and Tom's split

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' wedding in Italy© Getty Images
Tom and Katie were married from 2006-2012

Suri was born in April 2006, with doting father Tom later gushing to ABC News: "It was everything that we wanted it to be... It was spiritual. It was powerful. It was indescribable."

She was just six years old when Katie filed for divorce, citing "irreconcilable differences."

Tom confessed to German TV network ProSieben: "I didn't expect it," adding: "Life is a tragicomedy. You need to have a sense of humor."

katie holmes tom cruise with daughter suri as a baby© Getty Images
The pair share daughter Suri

Katie and Tom released a joint statement that read: "We are committed to working together as parents to accomplish what is in our daughter Suri's best interests.

"We want to keep matters affecting our family private and express our respect for each other's commitment to each of our respective beliefs and support each other's roles as parents."

Divorce terms 

Katie reportedly deliberately filed for divorce in New York, where family law judges tend not to grant joint custody to fighting parents to prevent conflicts for the children.

She was granted sole custody and Tom agreed to several financial obligations, including paying Katie $400,000 a month until Suri turned 18 years old, according to the Daily Mail. The Mission Impossible actor also agreed to shoulder "medical, dental, insurance, education, college and other extracurricular costs".

Aside from finances, the pair also set out boundaries when it came to religion. Tom is a devout Scientologist, and when he split from his first wife Nicole Kidman in 2001, their two adopted children Isabella and Connor continued to be Scientologists and drifted apart from their mother.

Catholic-raised Katie was supposedly afraid of history repeating itself with Suri, which is why she sought sole custody. This allowed her to remove her daughter from any Scientology-influenced schools, like the Delphian School in Oregon where Tom's older children attended.

Suri Cruise wore a Carnegie Mellon sweater© TikTok
Suri Cruise hinted that she's going to study at Carnegie Mellon

Instead, Suri attended LaGuardia High School and has hinted she is planning to study at Carnegie Mellon University.

According to TMZ, Katie and Tom's divorce agreement also included restrictions on what they could tell Suri regarding religion. The little girl supposedly couldn't be exposed to anything Scientology-related.

Tom and Suri's relationship

Tom holding hands with ex-wife katie holmes and daughter Suri © Getty
Tom hasn't been pictured with his daughter in years

Tom was very excited to become a father to Suri, even controversially buying a medical-grade sonogram machine in order to see her throughout Katie's pregnancy.

Throughout Suri's childhood, the father-daughter duo were often pictured on public outings before Tom and Katie divorced.

However, the Top Gun actor spent less and less time with his daughter following the split. Lindsay George, BACP-registered counsellor and psychotherapist, told HELLO! that this may have had an impact on Suri's attachment, which was likely secure until her father left.

"Suri may well have felt quite confused at the time as to why her dad left," she began.

"We can speculate that he was present and an emotionally available dad. Obviously, she's got her mum too, so potentially, Suri's attachment style is secure because she's had two parents emotionally and physically available in those early years of her life, which is super important."

Former Scientologist Samantha Domingo told Us Weekly that Tom was "not allowed" to have a relationship with Suri as she was not a Scientologist.

Samantha explained the Church's belief in reincarnation means they would not view Suri as Tom's daughter, but as a "spiritual being in Tom's daughter's body."

Tom has denied these claims, stating his busy work schedule has prevented them from spending time together. The physical distance also doesn't help, since Suri lives in New York City and Tom has made London his primary base.

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