Lawyer for children says Dwyane Wade should get custody

Judge hears from court-appointed representative as trial begins
September 14, 2010|By Becky Schlikerman, Tribune reporter
NBA superstar Dwyane Wade should be granted sole custody of his children, a court-appointed lawyer representing the Wade’s two young children said as a custody trial started Monday in Cook County.
The Miami Heat point guard, who grew up in south suburban Robbins, and his high school sweetheart were embroiled for years in an ugly divorce that was finally settled in June. The two are each seeking sole custody of their two sons, ages 8 and 3.
Lawyers for Wade and his ex-wife, Siohvaughn, traded barbs in their opening statements in Circuit Judge Renee Goldfarb’s courtroom.
Wade’s lawyer, James Pritikin, accused the former wife of “bizarre” behavior and tampering with Wade’s scheduled visitation time with the children. He said he expects that behavior to continue — at the detriment of Wade’s relationship with his sons.
“She’s her own boss,” Pritikin said. “The court has no authority over her and she totally disrespects its authority.”
But Siohvaughn Wade’s lawyer, Michael Haber, countered that the NBA all-star is simply too busy to be the boys’ sole caretaker, calling it a “selfish desire.”
“In order to be a good custodial parent, you must be available to parent the children,” Haber said. “Unfortunately, this is not feasible for a person like Dwyane Wade.”
Haber criticized the recommendation by the children’s representative, Lester Barclay, that Dwyane Wade be given sole custody, calling it “nonsensical” because it “ignores realities of Mr. Wade’s unavailability.”
Haber said the children’s mother has been the sole caretaker for the kids for most of their lives.
While Barclay backed sole custody for Dwyane Wade, he also recommended to the judge that a “creative approach” be taken.
“I want them to be whole,” said Barclay, indicating he wants the children to have relationships with both parents and he believes that Dwyane Wade is more likely to make sure that happens.
The divorce proceedings have been bitter, marked by allegations and lawsuits.
“(The boys) have all the money in the world, but that’s not what they need,” Barclay said. “They need stability.”
bschlikerman@tribune.com