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Over when it's over: divorce, property division and moving on

The saying "it isn't over 'til it's over" is often associated with a baseball player, Yogi Berra. But it is a basketball player who is experiencing that phenomenon now with his divorce settlement.

The player is Dwayne Wade, an Illinois native who is one of the stars of the Miami Heat. Two years ago, in a bitter child custody battle, Wade was awarded custody of the two children he and his ex-wife have.

But that award did not mean the issues in the case were over. This week, Wade's ex-wife filed a lawsuit alleging Wade has not fulfilled his end of an agreement to divide proceeds from his endorsement deals.

This is not a lawsuit seeking to modify the terms of the divorce settlement. The suit contends, rather, that Wade and his advisers engaged in a conspiracy to violate the terms of a contract between the two former marriage partners.

According to the lawsuit, the contract required money from Wade's endorsements to be placed in a joint bank account with his ex-wife. 

A case like this shows how contentious property division issues can be, even after they are seemingly resolved.

To be sure, it is not uncommon for one party to seek modification of the terms of a divorce settlement based on changed financial circumstances. For example, child support awards can be modified up or down based on parental income.

In the Wade case, however, what is alleged is a separate contract between the former marriage partners. And the resolution of the dispute about that contract will not be over until it's over.

Source: Chicago Tribune, "Dwayne Wade's ex-wife sues him for at least $1 million," Kim Geiger, July 10, 2013

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