NBA star Wade in court for custody battle

Dwyane Wade is seen in this 2010 file photo.

May 27, 2010 10:00:00 PM PDT
Another chapter in the bitter child custody battle between NBA star Dwyane Wade and his wife played out in a Chicago court room Friday with Mrs. Wade firing her ninth attorney.The trial had been set to get under way June 7, but at a hearing Friday, Cook County Circuit Judge Marya Nega granted what she described as a final postponement after allowing Mrs. Wade to dismiss her most recent lawyer.

Accompanied by his sister and mother, the NBA star scored a small victory Friday in his long-running and contentious divorce case after a judge ordered the professional athlete's estranged wife to split custody of their two sons.

"It's unfortunate me and their mom are not together, but that doesn't stop me from being a father. I want to be that tremendous dad," Dwyane Wade said.

The shared visitation arrangement allows both parents custody of the children in two week intervals over the summer. In Friday morning's custody trial, which is separate from the couple's divorce proceedings, Wade continues to seek sole custody of his sons, claiming that his soon-to-be ex-wife Siohvaughn Wade is mentally unstable.

She accuses him of being physically and emotionally abusive.

"She has made some suggestions about some issues with the children that give us concern about the children remaining with her for even part of the summer," said Jim Pritikin, Dwyane Wade's divorce attorney.

The Wades have two sons: Zaire, 8, who will soon begin court ordered therapy and Zion, who will turn 3 years old this weekend.

"They are like most children who are caught in the middle. They're impacted by what's going on," said Lester Barclay, lawyer for the Wade children.

Divorce lawyer Marsha Fisher would not say Friday why she became the ninth attorney in two years the judge allowed Siohvaughn Wade to fire.

Mrs. Wade must have new legal representation by the July 19th custody trial date or represent herself.

Dwyane and Siohvaughn Wade were high school sweethearts who were married in 2002. It is still unclear if their court battle will affect the basketball future of the Miami Heat star as he enters free agency.

Wade, who starred at south suburban Richards high school, declines to say if he would consider returning to his hometown to play for the Chicago Bulls, but his quest for personal closure is clear.

"We're going on two and a half, three years. More so than for my sake, I want it for my kids," Dwyane Wade said.

The proceedings have been bitter. Siohvaughn Wade was taken into custody by sheriff's deputies after not showing up for a court hearing. She also has filed a lawsuit claiming her husband's alleged romantic relationship with actress Gabrielle Union is causing her and her children emotional distress.

The judge put off until trial any action on contempt allegations against Mrs. Wade.