Dwyane Wade’s ex: biased judicial system tilted against her in custody case
BY JON SEIDEL Staff Reporterfirstname.lastname@example.org October 5, 2012 6:34PM
Dwayne Wade and his wife Siovaughn. Web grab
Updated: November 7, 2012 6:04AM
The ex-wife of NBA superstar Dwyane Wade and mother of his two children believes a biased and prejudiced court system has tilted the custody battle over their kids in favor of the Chicago native and key member of the Miami Heat NBA championship team.
“There’s going to be a need for justice,” said Siohvaughn Funches-Wade.
The south suburban woman, who met Wade in elementary school, spoke to the Chicago Sun-Times on Wednesday, more than three months after a dispute over a handoff of the children led to her arrest on misdemeanor counts of attempted child abduction and unlawful visitation interference. Those charges have been dropped, Cook County court records show, but a count of resisting arrest remains.
Wade’s attorney, James Pritikin, declined through an assistant to respond to Funches-Wade’s comments, but he’s previously accused Funches-Wade of being “unstoppable and relentless” in her attempts to alienate the children from their father.
On Wednesday, Funches-Wade accused her ex-husband of thwarting two planned visits with her children after the arrest. She said she hasn’t seen her boys, ages 10 and 5, since August. And she said she can’t afford to travel to Florida, which is where she said the court required her to visit them.
“There’s clearly a double standard,” said Funches-Wade, a student at John Marshall Law School in Chicago.
The boys were visiting their mother in Chicago on Father’s Day weekend and, according to Wade’s attorney, were to be turned over to his sister about noon that Saturday. They planned to fly to Miami to watch Game 3 of the NBA Finals between the Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder.
Pritikin said in June that Funches-Wade didn’t answer her phone or doorbell when Wade’s sister arrived to pick up the kids, and police were eventually called. A neighbor let them onto their property, where Cook County deputies could see over a 10-foot-high fence that the kids were safe in a backyard pool.
Funches-Wade eventually came out and was arrested, but she allegedly swung her arms toward the officers. She also suffered an asthma attack.
But Funches-Wade said Wednesday the children weren’t supposed to be turned over until the day after Wade’s sister came to pick them up. She said the sister who arrived wasn’t the one authorized by the court to collect the children, and she said the woman never tried to contact her by phone, text message, email or even by using the doorbell.
“She didn’t send a message in a bottle,” Funches-Wade said.
She said watching the children swim in the backyard pool hardly amounts to kidnapping, and she said the police presence at her home was “beyond unreasonable.”
Funches-Wade went on to accuse her ex-husband of interfering with one visitation period planned by the court by removing the children from Florida, and another by taking them out of the country for the Olympics with a judge’s permission. She said her opportunity to see the children was delayed for weeks after she was allegedly only a few hours late in turning over the children.
She said she finally drove to Florida and saw the children at a hotel, but she said Wade failed to reimburse her for much of the nearly $6,000 in travel expenses she incurred, claiming the bill was unreasonable. She also said he violated a court order when he listened in on her phone calls with the children.
The couple divorced two years ago, and Wade was given custody of the children in March 2011. Funches-Wade said she’d ultimately like the courts to rule in the “best interest of the children” and send them to live with her.
“I’m always looking to be a parent, always,” Funches-Wade said. “I actually want to parent my children.”