Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Updated: September 9, 10:09 AM ET
Dwyane Wade's custody battle begins
The appointed attorney for Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade's two young sons has recommended to a Chicago court that the NBA star be awarded custody of the children.
Wade and ex-wife Siohvaughn Wade returned to court on Wednesday, this time to begin the trial that will decide custody of their boys, ages 8 and 3. Attorney Lester Barclay, the boys' representative, filed a pretrial memo outlining three recommendations he plans to make during trial, with one caveat being Siohvaughn Wade should agree to undergo "extensive therapy" as part of any scenario.
"At trial it is my intention, based on the best interests of my clients, the minor children ... to be with" Dwyane Wade, Barclay wrote.
The court does not need to follow Barclay's advice, though it's fairly common for the suggestions of a child's representative to at least be weighed in such cases.
Barclay's recommendations included residential custody primarily with Dwyane Wade; joint custody with at least one of the boys attending school in Florida; or sole custody for the 2006 NBA finals MVP.
The Heat guard signed a new six-year contract worth about $107 million with the Heat in July, doing so on the same day longtime friends and fellow NBA stars LeBron James and Chris Bosh joined the Miami roster.
Dwyane Wade was awarded "physical possession" of his sons in June by another judge in Chicago, who found that an emergency order was merited because Wade's time for visitation with his children "has been frustrated on an ongoing basis as a result of continual interference" by his now ex-wife. Their divorce was finalized in June, although custody and financial matters remain undecided.
In the June ruling, the court cited three instances, one in March and two in May, where Dwyane Wade's visitation schedules were altered by his ex-wife. Siohvaughn Wade has made claims that her sons are abused when in their father's custody.
Following a break for Rosh Hashanah, the trial will resume Monday with opening statements and other motions. Siohvaughn Wade is expected to be the first witness when testimony begins Tuesday.
Dwyane Wade expects the trial will last for at least a full week, which means he may not return to South Florida until just before the Sept. 28 start of Heat training camp.