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On Wednesday afternoon, Miami Heat All-Star Dwyane Wade sat down for a thoughtful and deliberate 20-minute meeting with the press that belied the significance of his current professional task — overcoming several nagging injuries on his way toward helping lead the Heat to another NBA championship. And, sadly, that task and his tactfulness pale in comparison to the personal influences that have to be weighing heavily on his play — even if his on-court production stays all-world even by his own professional standards.
Wade's ex-wife, Siovaughn Funches-Wade, is being charged by both Wade and Illinois' Cook County police with a pair of misdemeanors following her handling of the former couple's children over the Father's Day weekend. Wade and his ex-wife have been divorced since 2010, and as a result of this incident, he's asking a Chicago-area judge for help in determining the terms of Siovaughn's visitation policies. From the Associated Press:
Wade this week asked a Chicago judge to suspend his ex-wife's right to visitation with their two children. The request comes after a weekend incident in which Siovaughn Wade was arrested and the children were delayed from being returned to Wade's custody. Siovaughn Funches-Wade was charged with two counts of attempted child abduction, two counts of unlawful visitation interference and one count of resisting arrest, Cook County Sheriff's spokesman Frank Bilecki told The AP on Tuesday.
Wade's two sons were apparently returned to his custody, in Miami, in the early hours on Sunday; but not before the Heat guard's ex-wife refused to answer to both the calls and appearance of Dwyane's sister at Siovaughn's house as she attempted to pick Wade's sons up on Saturday for a return to Miami in time for Father's Day.
The accusations, including an allegation of child abuse lobbed at Siovaughn's sister, are all coming from Dwyane Wade's camp. So we're to take these all with a grain of salt before this goes to trial, but in the meantime Wade's attorneys have filed a statement suitable for public viewing:
"Once again, [Siovaughn Funches-Wade] has used our minor children as the proverbial pawns in this contentious dissolution of marriage action," Wade wrote in the filing, using initials to protect identities but referring to his ex-wife. "This court must take action to protect our minor children from further exposure to the present environment [Siovaughn Funches-Wade] creates while they are in her care and preventing [Siovaughn Funches-Wade] from exercising her parenting time in a manner that is harmful to our children."
This particular motion was filed on Tuesday, in the hours before Wade's appearance in the Heat's win over the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 4 of the NBA Finals. The hearing to attempt to reach a settlement in this disagreement is set for June 26 in Chicago, which is also the date of the potential Game 7 of the NBA Finals, due to take place in Oklahoma City.
We've very little to add to this mess beyond pointing out that, because there is love and human frailty involved here, these sorts of custody battles rarely turn out to be anything but indelicate at best. Wade's financial stature and celebrity billing matter little, as the former couple attempt to work this out. And, as is always the case, the best hope is that this resolves itself sooner, rather than later, for the sake of the children involved.