HollywoodLife.com spoke with three top divorce and family attorneys, who tell us that if Tom takes Suri without Katie’s knowledge, she can go to the police and allege kidnapping — read on for all the details.
Katie Holmes is with Suri Cruise nonstop. Do you think the 33-year-old is worried that her soon-to-be ex-husband Tom Cruise is going to kidnap their six-year-old daughter Suri? Vikki Ziegler, a top New York divorce attorney tells HollywoodLife.com what Katie should do!
“It’s unlikely that Tom is going to come and try to take Suri away given he’s in Iceland on a movie set,” Vikki tells us. “But if she believes there’s a threat she can go to the police department and say ‘I believe Tom may come and take my child’ and put them on notice. She can request an emergency hearing to try and get physical custody.”
If Tom wanted to come and take Suri, Katie would have to say it’s okay. According to Vikki, Tom has every right to spend time with Suri but if he took Suri without Katie’s knowledge, Katie could allege kidnapping.
“She would have to go to the police and file kidnapping charges. And then go to the courthouse and file an immediate order of sole custody,” Vikki says. “If Katie’s position is that she and Suri live in NYC and Suri’s taken without her consent … she could say it’s kidnapping and that he’s unstable.”
Malcolm Taub, partner at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP tells HollywoodLife.com that Katie has every right to say ‘No’ to Tom if he asks to see Suri.
“She has the right to say no,” Malcolm tells us. “The law favors common sense. Technically they are on even playing field but if she can prove that the child might be in danger, for instance Tom has the capacity to hire private planes that aren’t subject to normal screening procedures. The reality is if there is a reasonable basis that he may kidnap the child, no one is going to do anything to promote that.”
Even though Katie has filed for sole and primary custody, Vikki tells us that doesn’t mean anything as of yet.
“As it stands, now they share this child,” she says. “That’s just a petition that will be handled in court. It doesn’t mean that Katie will get that. She would have to file an immergent application with the court and say Suri is in real danger. The child has to be in danger or there is immediate harm to the child.”
If Tom asks to have Suri for a night or more and Katie says no … Tom can take Katie to court.
“Right now the only way is if Katie tells him yes,” she says. “And if she says no, he will file for an emergent hearing to get temporary sole custody of Suri.”
Dr. Sheila Forman, LA based Clinical Psychologist and attorney at law tells HollywoodLife.com that it’s no uncommon for a parent to kidnap their own child.
“The most common form of kidnapping is parental kidnapping,” she says. “He still has joint legal custody which means he has the right to make decisions. Right now he still has legal rights to the child. If either one of them step in and file for emergency custody of the child, then they’re violating and it’s kidnapping.”
Malcolm tells us that no matter what, it’s going to be a big battle.
“Custody cases are always terrible for all parties,” Malcolm says. “There is no good custody battle.”
— Chloe Melas
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