This Week’s Pro Bono Success Story
A Marine Corps private stationed in North Carolina separated from his spouse, who resided in Colorado. He signed a separation agreement to pay child support to his spouse on behalf of his child according to Colorado support guidelines. His spouse then moved forward with a divorce, and the Marine was not afforded his rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) to have the action stayed by the court, nor was he appointed counsel as the law requires. The court entered default orders that included child support and spousal maintenance awards based on inaccurate income information provided by the spouse, which resulted in a monthly obligation for the Marine that was nearly equal to his entire take-home pay. The Military Pro Bono Project located a Colorado attorney who agreed to assist the Marine pro bono, and who, based upon the clear violation of the Marine’s SCRA rights, was successful in setting aside the financially detrimental default orders and entering stipulated orders based upon accurate income information for the Marine.