HollywoodLife.com spoke with top divorce and family attorneys, who tell us that Katie filing for divorce AND an emergent application in NYC was a ‘smart’ and ‘drastic’ move. Plus, since Katie primarily lives in NYC, it will help her custody case against Tom!
Katie Holmes is one smart lady. The actress filed for divorce in New York on June 28, and also filed paperwork for an emergent hearing on July 3. Even if Tom Cruise files for this case to be moved to California, Katie has a great chance of proving the NYC courts have “jurisdiction” over the issue. Why? Because she spends the majority of her time in New York with six-year-old Suri Cruise, and HollywoodLife.com has photographic proof!
“If Katie is in New York, and Suri is in New York, and they are New York residents … and the papers were legitimately filed … the action will remain in New York, and the California court should give deference,” explains Malcolm Taub, family attorney and partner at Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP.
HollywoodLife.com has learned that Katie has a hearing on July 17 in front of Judge Matthew Cooper in New York and Tom may be there. Tom is currently filming a movie in Iceland which may prevent him from appearing.
This means that if Tom decides to fight Katie and have the divorce and custody hearing in California, Katie still has a good chance of keeping it in New York. But Katie must first prove that she’s a New York resident, and we have the photos to prove that Katie has been in New York every single month for the past year — and she’s stuck around for days at a time!
“The pictures can be very helpful in evidencing her in New York,” top divorce attorney Vikki Ziegler tells us. “If Katie can show she owns property in New York [and that she] filed a tax return for 2011 [with] New York as her main address. … Is Suri enrolled in class in New York? Does Suri have doctors in New York? This can all help her.”
And just think about it: Katie wouldn’t have filed in New York if she didn’t think she had a good chance!
“You cannot just go into the courts and have them adjudicate matters,” Malcolm adds. “There has to be a residency requirement. Even if she is renting here and doesn’t own a place, it’s still a major indicator of residency. One can have several residences, but if [Katie] maintains a place here for a significant amount of time, and if Suri is enrolled in things here, that will help too. It’s a very drastic move for Katie to file in New York.”
Of course, Tom can still fight the matter and have the State of California order Katie appear in court before her July 17 New York hearing.
“California could rule they come there first,” Malcolm explains. “But I would assume that if the California court ordered them to come in before Katie’s hearing in New York, she would have to get an attorney in California. But she would come in and say, ‘I started the action first in New York and I have jurisdiction in that court and most likely California would let it be determined in New York.’”
Tom may very well show up to court on July 17 for the emergent hearing and say there is “no jurisdiction,” at which point he can ask them to dismiss it and move it to California. But Tom will have to present a strong defense. If New York rules in Katie’s favor, Tom can appeal the ruling.
“Judge Matthew Cooper [who is going to be overseeing their case on July 17] is a very practical and excellent judge,” Malcolm says. “He’s very practical and an excellent judge who is very able to handle this type of high profile case.”
Katie is being represented by New Jersey-based attorney Jonathan Wolfe, and New York attorneys Allan Mayefsky and his partner Michael Mosberg. Top attorneys have told us that Mayefsky wouldn’t have taken the case if he didn’t think there was a strong chance of a ruling in Katie’s favor.
— Chloe Melas
More Tom & Katie News:
- Tom Cruise Wants To File For Visitation Rights & Sole Custody Of Suri — Report
- Katie Holmes’ Father Plotted Escape From Tom Cruise Marriage Like Covert Operation
- Tom Cruise Fires Back At Katie: You’re Using Suri As A Weapon