A prominent US divorce lawyer has said that Katie Holmes's decision to file for divorce from Tom Cruise in New York could lead to a legal showdown.
Her move will likely lead to litigation to bring it back to California - where rules about how assets are split and divorces managed are more lenient, according to Santa Monica lawyer Michael Kelly.
"Where Katie Holmes filed means it automatically sets up a jurisdictional dispute between the lawyers in New York and the lawyers in California," said Kelly, who is not involved with the case.
"And there's no question that California is the home state," he added.
Read: Katie Holmes files for divorce from Tom Cruise citing "irreconciliable differences"
Kelly called a filing in New York a "tactical move" that likely was intended to take advantage of the state's "comparative fault" legal system for handling divorces - different from California's "no-fault" system.
According to Kelly, comparative fault means a judge in New York can attribute fault for the break-up of a divorce and can handle the distribution of money.
However, he said the couple's prenuptial agreement likely dictated that any divorce would fall under California law - and that because the number of lawyers who handle celebrity divorces is small, he'd heard details about it.
"I understood that Katie Holmes was going to get three million dollars a year for the time that she spent with him, per year. That's not a guarantee," he said.
"You're going to have an airtight prenup by whoever was the lawyer that represented Tom Cruise," he added.
One key issue is who will get custody of the couple's 6-year-old daughter Suri.
"I heard just a bit ago that Katie Holmes is going to try for primary physical custody or sole physical custody," Kelly said, adding that "there's no way that's going to happen".
Read: Katie Holmes' parents are reportedly sad she has split from Tom Cruise
According to him, the primary issue is what's in the best interests of the child - and that to break that, a litigant would have to show aberrant or dangerous or significantly callous behaviour towards the child by the other parent.
Kelly said the couple likely faced one of the major issues any celebrity couple faces: inconsistent and jammed schedules that kept them apart more than they were together.
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"Time together is one of the greatest glues that you'll ever see in that kind of a deal. And their variety and inconsistent shooting schedules may have kept them apart enough to tear the fabric," he said.
Cruise and Holmes married in 2006 after a whirlwind love affair.
He proposed at the Eiffel Tower and their wedding was held at a 15th century Italian castle.
Holmes filed for divorce on Thursday, ending her first marriage.
This will be Cruise's third divorce. He was previously married to actresses Mimi Rogers and Nicole Kidman, with whom he has two children.
Read: The end for Tom and Katie, but should we be surprised?
Holmes, who is 33, rose to fame on the teen soap Dawson's Creek
She went on to appear in Batman Begins
and earned rave reviews for her roles in independent films such as 2003's Pieces of April
and 2005's Thank You for Smoking.
She took a break after giving birth to Suri in April, 2006, and marrying Cruise in November.
Cruise, who turns 50 on Tuesday, won strong review for his latest role, as an Axl Rose-style rock star in Rock of Ages
- though not corresponding box-office results.
Read: Tom Cruise wanted to film Rock Of Ages for family
His most recent Mission Impossible
instalment, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol,
has made more than 690 million (m) US dollars worldwide.