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CHICAGO (STMW) – Their high-profile divorce and child-custody fight are long over, but the animus between Miami Heat star Dwyane Wade and his ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, returned to a Chicago courtroom Tuesday.
In their latest legal faceoff, lawyers for both presented witnesses Tuesday to a judge being asked to decide: Should Wade’s ex-wife’s visitation rights with the couple’s two children be suspended or at least allowed only with supervision in the wake of her delayed handoff of the boys to their dad over Father’s Day weekend?
Cook County Associate Judge Helaine Berger will rule on the matter on July 9. However, she ruled that Funches-Wade can’t visit her children in the Chicago area until then. If she wants, Funches-Wade can travel to Florida to see the boys during her scheduled visitation in late June.
The boys, ages 10 and 5, were visiting their mother, who lives near South Holland, and were supposed to be turned over to Dwyane Wade’s sister June 16 so they could head to Midway Airport to fly back to Miami to be with their dad the following day, Father’s Day, and attend Game 3 of the NBA finals between the Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder, according to the basketball star’s lawyer. But his ex-wife delayed their trip to Miami, according to court documents.
Now, she’s charged with child abduction, and he’s trying to suspend her visitation rights.
Siohvaughn Funches-Wade declined to testify at Tuesday’s hearing, invoking her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. Michael Haber, her lawyer, said testifying might hurt her defense against the criminal charges.
Funches-Wade came to court Tuesday with her right arm in a sling and used her left arm when she was sworn in as a witness.
It’s unclear whether she injured the arm when she tangled with Cook County Sheriff’s police officers who were summoned after the Wade boys weren’t turned over to the NBA superstar’s sister.
The couple was divorced in 2010, and Wade was awarded custody of the boys in March 2011. Their court battle then was so bitter that the judge in the case called the impact on the boys “the saddest thing.”
Under a March 2011 court order, Wade, who grew up in Robbins and has a home in Chicago, was given sole custody of the children, with the mother given visitation rights.
Marrya McDaniel, Dwyane Wade’s sister, testified Tuesday that she showed up to pick up the children around noon — as scheduled by a mediator. Funches-Wade didn’t answer her phone or doorbell.
As the hours passed, McDaniel said she called her sister and the mediator — retired Cook County Domestic Relations Judge Karen Shields — to determine what to do.
Shields testified that she repeatedly called Funches-Wade and Funches-Wade’s mother, but neither answered.
The sheriff’s police were called and, with McDaniel, were given access by a neighbor to the property to see what was going on at the Funches-Wade home. McDaniel said she spotted her nephews: “They were in the pool in the back yard of the house.”
McDaniel testified that Funches-Wade called out to the group.
“She said, ‘Who are you, and what are you doing here?’ ” McDaniel testified.
The sheriff’s officers moved to arrest Funches-Wade, and McDaniel said there appeared to be a struggle, though she didn’t have a clear view of what happened since some of the arrest unfolded behind a door.
Police then turned the boys over to McDaniel, who then had to arrange to put the boys, who’d missed their flight, on a private plane. They arrived in Miami about 6 a.m. the next day.
Funches-Wade, 30, told the officers she suffers from asthma and was short of breath and was taken to St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Center in Hammond, Ind. After being treated there, she was charged with two counts each of attempted child abduction and unlawful visitation interference, as well as resisting arrest in connection — all misdemeanor.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)