A child custody dispute in a divorce proceeding can range from the relatively benign to the hotly contested. It can be relatively simple and straightforward, or it can involve differing stories, harsh allegations, guardians ad litem, expert witnesses and other professionals, and intense media scrutiny.
Professional basketball star Dwyane Wade’s child custody dispute with his ex-wife, Siohvaughn Wade, centrally encompasses all of the latter. Wade was on the witness stand for several days running recently in a Chicago court, first answering questions from his attorney, then one of his son’s court-appointed attorneys, and finally his wife’s lawyer.
The case firmly underscores many of the considerations that often feature predominantly in a contentious child custody matter. After the couple’s divorce, Siohvaughn Wade was awarded custody of the couple’s two young sons, but Wade filed a petition last summer to challenge that, based on his former wife’s alleged routine interference with his visitation rights.
Wade seeks sole custody of the children. Last week he challenged many of the allegations his wife made in court papers, including that he had a sexually transmitted disease (he didn’t, and his Siohvaughn Wade later withdrew that statement) and that he physically abused her, abandoned his family and endangered the lives of his sons.
Wade strongly denies all that, and says that he was actually the victim of physical abuse in the marriage. He did admit under questioning from his ex-wife’s attorney that she did take care of most of the daily necessities of the children during their marriage and that she occasionally modified visitation schedules to accommodate his schedule.
Wade has acknowledged both the difficulty of the public scrutiny and, in his view, the problems associated with having facts properly stated and presented in public. “A lot of things have been said about me, but at the end of the day my concern is for my kids,” he said last week after a day of testimony. “It should be all about the kids.”
A person with child custody-related questions and concerns should contact an experienced family law attorney. A complex child custody matter is an area where an experienced lawyer can make a significant difference in the outcome.
Related Resource: www.suntimes.com “Custody Battle / Hoops star’s testimony counters ex-wife’s accusations” October 16, 2010