This past weekend in a crazy turn of events, Siovaughn Funches-Wade, the ex-wife of the Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade, was arrested and charged with two counts of attempted child abduction, two counts of unlawful visitation interference and one count of resisting arrest after not allowing her two sons to leave the house when Dwyane’s sister showed up to take them to Miami for Father’s day.
Also arrested was Nadgee Alarcon, a woman who was also in the house with Funches-Wade during the hours-long standoff. She faces a single charge of resisting arrest.
Siovaughan and Dwyane have been separated since 2007 and divorced since 2010. Last year a Chicago judge gave custody of the two boys to Dwyane and allowed them to move to Miami with him.
That ruling followed a series of outlandish behavior by Siovaughn including numerous instances in which she did not allow the boys to attend court-ordered visits with their father. She also didn’t allow the boys to talk to their father on the phone despite the court having ordered that as well.
Funches-Wade missed several court dates and even had an arrest warrant issued after one missed appearance. She turned herself in and then posted a $10,000 bond back in 2010 for that. She has made several claims about her ex-husband which turned out to be false, such as when she sued him and his girlfriend, actor Gabrielle Union, alleging that they had “engaged in sexual foreplay” in front of the children and that had caused her and the boys extreme emotional stress. Another false accusation was that Dwyane had contracted an STD during an extra-marital affair, but during a deposition, a close friend of the Wades testified that Siovaughn said that she had obtained the STD from having sex with another man. Siovaughn even went so far as to tell the court that their sons don’t recognize Dwyane as their father and that they cry uncontrollably when he’s around. That turned out not to be true either.
Funches-Wade had nine lawyers quit representing her prior to the divorce being granted in 2010 and after this Father’s Day incident, her latest attorney quit as well.
All of these antics are what led to the judge’s 2011 decision to allow the children to live with their father in Miami full-time.
The behavior Ms. Funches-Wadehas exhibited over the last few years is unheard of to many. It has been preached to us for decades that men are the bad ones when it comes to family and domestic issues as terms like "deadbeat dad" and "absentee father" are tossed around, but the reality is many women have been known to create problems, too.
In a study: “VisitationInterference – A National Study” by Ms. J. Annette Vanini, M.S.W. and Edward Nichols, M.S.W., it was found that 77% of non-custodial fathers are not able to visit their children, as ordered by the court, as a result of visitation interference by the custodial parent. In other words, non-compliance with court-ordered visitation is three times the problem of non-compliance with court-ordered child support, yet all you ever hear about on TV is deadbeat dads. When mothers are not allowing fathers to see their children, it has profound psychological effects on both the children and the father.
Siovaughn used several very commonly-applied tactics in divorce proceedings; she attempted to alienate the children by denying the father’s parenting time (not allowing his visits), by not allowing phone contact and by claiming that the children didn’t want to see him. She was not the first and will not be the last to try these tactics.
Other common actions that some women try are false domestic violence claims in order to obtain an order of protection; alleging drug use around the children and accusing the father of child abuse.
Many men get to court and are frustrated by all of this, as it is very hard to litigate these issues in the family court. Dwyane Wade has been able to expose this type of behavior because of his fame and his ability to hire a high-powered attorney. Most people in family court can’t afford a quality attorney like his. Wade’s celebrity has forced the media to keep an eye on the Wades situation and as a result, all of it gets published in real time.
Dwyane Wade has written a soon-to-be-released book about fatherhood and hopefully with the attention he has inadvertently brought to the topic of post-divorce, domestic relations, the perceptions of men and women will begin to even out. Despite everything that you have heard for years about men and all of the things you have read here about women, the reality is half of men are great fathers and co-parents and half aren’t. Half of women are able to co-parent civilly and half aren’t. Until the society at-large comes to this realization, no one will ever find peace after a divorce, especially children.