Actors Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman took another step toward divorce after a Los Angeles judge signed papers allowing their highly publicized split to be finalized Aug. 8., a court clerk said on Tuesday.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Lee Edmon granted a request to "bifurcate" the case, meaning that she immediately granted the divorce. However, issues of property, custody and other things will be decided later.
A trial-setting conference is set for Oct. 4.
Neither Cruise nor Kidman was present for the hearing, but both are expected to appear at the Los Angeles premiere next Tuesday of "The Others," which was produced by Cruise and features Kidman as its star, according to several media reports. The premiere would mark the first time the couple will have appeared together since their separation.
The couple married on Christmas Eve 1990 and separated in December 2000, court documents said. The separation wasn't disclosed until February.
Cruise, 39, filed for divorce from the flame-haired star of the musical film "Moulin Rouge" in February after 10 years of marriage, claiming "irreconcilable differences."
Kidman, 34, who has two adopted children with Cruise and starred with him in the 1999 erotic thriller "Eyes Wide Shut," was said to have been shocked by the split, describing it in interviews as the toughest time in her life.
The divorce petition said the couple will share custody of their children, 6-year-old Conor and 8-year-old Isabella.
Cruise and Kidman also co-starred in 1992's "Far and Away" and 1990's "Days of Thunder."
In addition to the separation and a subsequent miscarriage, the Hawaiian-born actress who was raised in Australia was also recently plagued by a stalker.
More recently, Cruise, who starred in "Mission: Impossible," has been seen on the town with Spanish-born beauty Penelope Cruz, 27, who was also his co-star in the Cameron Crowe-directed thriller "Vanilla Sky."