Dwyane Wade (also known as "D-Wade") isn't just an all-star NBA player, three-time World Champion, and former Finals MVP. He is also the NBA's poster child for involved parents. As a result, the images of both he, and his sons are ubiquitous throughout various forums, whether it be
pitching hygiene products or
honoring Trayvon Martin.
What many do not know however, is that Wade went through an extremely bitter custody fight with his ex-wife from which he was ultimately victorious. Wade's ex-wife Siovaughn Wade became so enraged after losing custody, she soon launched into a string of odd behavior that included falsely accusing Wade of having sexually transmitted diseases, then
plopping down in the middle of a Chicago street and claiming that Wade left her and her sons homeless.
In the end, Wade's saga exposes the fact that ultimately child custody orders are not based on "what the mother wants" and fathers should not be doomed to settle for little else besides being an "alternating weekend dad." Instead, judges are tasked with making orders that are in the "best interests of a child." And in most states, including California,
a parent's gender may not be factored into the court's determination of the best interests standard. Thus, Wade fought unbelievably hard to gain primary custody of his children and he ultimately prevailed.
Though some might cynically believe that people like Wade and Usher Raymond only win custody of their children because they have deep pockets to pay lawyers, such a hypothesis could not be further from the truth. In celebrity cases, the richer parent is usually ordered to pay not just his or her own legal fees but also the fees of the other parent. To continue with the Wade example, it is estimated that he is on the hook to the tune of
$10 million for both his and Siovaughn's legal fees.
Wade therefore did not have any kind of competitive financial advantage over his ex-wife; he simply fought tooth and nail for his children as every loving parent should. In the end, tales of fathers like Dwyane Wade should teach us that we should fight the hardest for those we love the most.