Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade’s lengthy custody battle returned to a Chicago courtroom recently after his ex-wife, Siohvaughn Funches-Wade, allegedly refused to return the couple’s two sons over Father’s Day weekend. When Funches-Wade reportedly declined to turn the children over to Wade’s sister for transport back to Miami, she was arrested and charged with misdemeanor child abduction, interference with visitation, and resisting arrest. In response to the incident, Wade, who was previously awarded sole custody of the children by a Cook County family court, filed a petition requesting that Funches-Wade’s right to visitation be suspended.
Instead of suspending Funches-Wade’s visitation rights, a Cook County judge ordered that all visits during the next four months take place in Florida where the children currently reside with their father. According to Funches-Wade, she has not had uninterrupted access to her children since she was arrested. Her attorney, who recently asked the court to allow him to leave the case, stated it was not typical for law enforcement officers to enmesh themselves in a child custody case. He reportedly believes authorities responded to the incident as a result of Wade’s celebrity.
Wade stated that, despite his recent petition before the court, he would like for his former wife to remain in the boys’ lives. Funches-Wade claims she did not return the children at the specified time due to a severe and debilitating asthma attack.
The custody of a couple’s children is always an especially emotional subject, and most parents worry about how much time they will be allowed to spend with their kids following a divorce. In Florida, a parent who seeks to modify a child custody order must show that one of the parent’s circumstances has changed in a substantial way. Additionally, the best interests of a couple’s children must also justify any requested custody modifications. A Florida family court judge will examine a number of factors under Florida law when considering any request to modify custody. Those factors include the child’s age, the child’s own preference, each parent’s fitness to raise the child, and which parent is primarily responsible for the child’s upbringing. Any allegations of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment, the moral fitness of each parent, and any evidence of sexual violence will also play a factor in a judge’s child custody decision.
Contact dedicated Miami-Dade family law attorney Sandy T. Fox today if you are a divorcing parent in Florida. Because he focuses his practice exclusively on family law matters, Mr. Fox understands the uncertainty and range of emotions that can accompany a separation or divorce. He is available to explain the various statutory factors that can affect your rights as a parent and help you evaluate your visitation or child custody options. If you have family law questions, do not hesitate to call Sandy T. Fox today at (800) 596-0579, or contact him through his website.
More Blog Posts:
Martin County Father Prosecuted for Failure to Pay Child Support, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, July 27, 2012
Vacation Schedules are Important for Divorced Parents in Florida, Fort Lauderdale Divorce Lawyer Blog, July 20, 2012
Judge: Dwyane Wade’s ex-wife must go to Florida for child visitation, by Karen Jordan, abclocal.go.com
Lawyer for Dwyane Wade’s ex-wife wants out of case, by Matt McKinney, Chicago Sun-Times
Photo credit: Keith Allison from Baltimore, USA (Dwyane Wade) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons