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Breaking news, Sussex County: Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise to divorce

Right now is an appropriate time to start a family law and divorce blog because those issues are all over the news thanks to the divorce of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise.

Now, it should go without saying that most of us here in Sussex County are quite different from Holmes and Cruise. They star in movies and fly all over the world for parties and publicity events; we get up in the morning, put our pants on one leg at a time and go to work.

But even so, Holmes' and Cruise's divorce actually bears a lot of similarities to most divorces. Although each situation is unique, there are a few general issues that most couples have to confront when they decide to separate.

One of the most important issues that needs to be addressed is property division. Gossip magazines have put Holmes' and Cruise's joint net worth at $275 million and it will be interesting to see how they divide it. You don't have anywhere near that much money, of course, but that doesn't matter -- when couples are going through property division, it takes quite a bit of diplomacy and skill to make sure the final agreement is fair (and in accord with applicable New Jersey laws). That can be accomplished with the help of an experienced attorney, of course, but you should know going in that it is a delicate and time-consuming affair.

A second issue is child custody. Holmes and Cruise have a daughter together, 6-year-old Suri. Supposedly, Holmes would like sole custody, but Cruise wants joint custody. When a mother and father have different expectations for child custody, it can create friction. You should know that generally, courts look to the best interests of the child and then factor that heavily into their custody rulings.

Hopefully, this post has given you a good general understand of the overarching contours of some frequent divorce issues. We plan to use this blog as a means to offer you news and general reflections on divorce and family law, so hopefully it will become a resource for you.

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

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