After a tumultuous three-year separation from his high-school sweetheart, the divorce of Dwyane Wade and his wife, Siohvaughn, was finalized last June. However, as in many contested divorces, that was not the end of their story. In the months since the divorce, the couple became embroiled in a custody battle over their two sons, ages 8 and 3. Last week, Wade testified in the custody hearing, saying that he takes responsibility for the dissolution of the couple's marriage and the conflict between them.

When the couple's divorce was final in June, Wade was awarded "physical possession" of his sons. The children have lived with Siohvaughn ever since. Last month, attorney Lester Barclay, who had been assigned to represent the children's interests, recommended that Wade be awarded custody of his sons.

Wade's six-hour testimony described the couple's stormy relationship and the effect it had on his relationship with his sons. He gave the example of a scheduled visitation when his ex-wife did not show up with the children. "I had no knowledge where my kids were and I got very afraid," he said. "I immediately thought the worst."

However, Wade did not place the blame solely on his ex-wife. "I take a lot of responsibility. I would have taken it a different way," he said. "I would have sought professional help. I feel that I could have done it in a professional way, get professional help, get family therapy."

Wade said that although visitation with his sons had been irregular for much of the couple's three-year separation, he had seen them regularly since he filed the custody petition in July. During his extensive testimony, he denied that he had abandoned his children, used drugs, owned acts, or engaged in sex acts with new girlfriend Gabrielle Union in front of the children. The hearing will continue this week.

Source: Associated Press, "Wade testifies in custody battle, says he wishes he'd sought help before marriage dissolved", 18 October 2010