Katie Holmes may have only been married to Tom Cruise for five years, but her impending divorce caps off a long-awaited, well-planned escape from him and Scientology.
Slowly easing herself away from her life as Mrs Tom Cruise and a life involved with the strict religion, Holmes reportedly spent years preparing for her divorce, with her main priority being that she gains full custody of the pair's six-year-old daughter, Suri.
Holmes, who filed for divorce on June 29 and is seeking sole legal custody and primary physical custody of Suri, relied heavily on her family to help her leave. With her father leading the way, Holmes and her family have gathered damning information about Cruise's life as a Scientologist to use in the divorce.
Former high-profile Scientology member Marty Rathbun, who left Scientology in 2004, says Tom's chances of gaining custody of Suri are very slim.
"Tom Cruise would be stupid to fight Katie Holmes for custody of Suri because of the information her family has about his ties to Scientology," he told Radar Online.
"Katie's family has information that Tom probably wouldn't want released to the public."
Rathbun has been involved with Cruise's Scientology life, helping him run "audit sessions", a practice that Scientologists believe clears them of negative influences while heightening spiritual awareness and enhancing their potential.
He says a personal friend has been helping Holmes' family gather information on Cruise.
"I did audit sessions with Tom Cruise from 2001 to 2004, and I can tell you that I have a friend that has been providing Katie Holmes' family information for years about the iron grip the Church of Scientology has on Tom Cruise's family and professional life," he told Radar Online.
"This has been going on for at least four years."
He says Holmes' father is the driving force behind the family's involvement in her escape from the religion.
"Katie's father is very involved in the divorce proceedings and working closely with Katie's lawyer," Rathbun said.
"Katie's father has truly been her rock in the last several months and she just doesn't know where she would be without him."
The former Dawson's Creek star put her escape plan into action more than 18 months ago when she stopped attending three-times-a-week Scientology classes and made a conscience effort to avoid Cruise's sister Lee Anne De Vette, a devoted Scientologist.
Her Scientology life consisted of punishing detoxes and while away on film sets Cruise would order Holmes to undergo Scientology audits and cleansing.
"Frankly Katie escaped," an unnamed source told Us Weekly.
The source also said that Holmes recently fired her team of mostly Scientology staff "so that she wouldn't be spied on".
Meanwhile, Cruise is currently filming a new movie in Iceland after wrapping up work on Rock of Ages, on which he worked almost non-stop. His preparations for that musical included spending five months rehearsing doing voice and dance training for 10 hours a day.
The time away from his family has certainly had an impact on Suri who has been spotted crying and throwing tantrums recently.
But it seems Holmes, who didn't agree with Cruise's strict Scientology parenting methods, is ready to bring up her little girl with a much more normal life and is determined that Suri doesn't end up like Cruise's other children, Isabella and Connor.
"Katie and Tom also have very different parenting views," a source told Us Weekly.
"Katie wants Suri to go to school with other children and have a grounded routine whereas Tom doesn't. He wants her schooled in the same manner Connor and Isabella were.
"Tom is nowhere near as strict as Katie is and doesn't believe in disciplining Suri, whereas Katie believes that is important."
Holmes was spotted today looking relaxed in New York without her wedding ring, but smiling as she attended the filming of Project Runway.
Related video: Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise Divorce: Five New Developments.