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With the Help of Pro Bono Attorneys, DV Victim Sailor Obtained Favorable Divorce and Custody Order

September 21, 2021

A Navy servicemember was the victim of domestic violence by her husband while she was pregnant. The abuse was so severe that the Navy initiated a safety transfer and assigned her to a new duty station, and a protective order was issued against the husband. She needed assistance to get a divorce from her husband, and to seek custody and child support for her child once born. She visited her local legal assistance office for help. Her military legal assistance attorney referred her to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which placed her case with experienced pro bono attorneys.

The pro bono attorneys negotiated a favorable divorce agreement on behalf of the sailor. The divorce order also awarded sole custody to the sailor for her child and ordered the sailor’s ex-husband to pay child support.

Volunteer Attorney Helps Air Force Couple Obtain Favorable Settlement After Previous Homeowners Failed to Disclose Necessary Tax Assessment on New Home

August 18, 2021

An Air Force servicemember and his wife purchased a new home. Shortly thereafter, they discovered that the previous owner had failed to disclose that a tax assessment was needed and had failed to pay a sewage bill. With the assessment, the yearly property taxes were raised by over 30 percent. With bill collectors contacting them, they visited their military legal assistance office for help.

The couple’s legal assistance attorney referred their case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which connected the couple with an experienced volunteer attorney. The attorney negotiated on their behalf and was able to come to a favorable settlement for the couple.

Pro Bono Attorneys Helped a Sailor Remove Liens and Return Funds to His Bank Accounts After his Social Security Number was Mistakenly Attached to a Child Support Case

August 10, 2021

A Navy servicemember’s income was garnished for a child support case in New York, but the sailor had no children and had never visited New York. He learned that his social security number was mistakenly attached to a child support case in the state. He contacted the Child Support Enforcement Office and tried to resolve the issue himself, but he was unsuccessful. He visited his local military legal assistance office for help.

The sailor’s military assistance attorney referred his case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which connected him to a pro bono attorney. The attorneys resolved the problem with the Child Support Enforcement Agency, had the liens removed from the sailor and his wife’s accounts, and had all of the funds that were taken returned to the sailor.

After A Marine’s Wife Drained Their Bank Account and Fled to Another State, His Pro Bono Attorney Helped Him Obtain a Divorce Judgment

August 5, 2021

A Marine Corps servicemember was injured in a motorcycle accident and received a large amount of money as compensation for his injuries. Shortly thereafter, the Marine’s wife emptied their joint savings account, including the Marine’s compensation for his injury, and filed for divorce before fleeing the state. This left the Marine unable to pay for his ongoing medical care due to the injury. The Marine visited his local military legal assistance office to seek help.

His legal assistance attorney referred his case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which placed his case with a volunteer attorney. The Marine’s experienced pro bono attorney skillfully represented him as his case went to trial. The case was successfully completed, and a divorce judgment was entered in the Marine’s favor.

After his Mother Forged his Signature on her Lease and then Defaulted, Volunteer Attorney Helped Soldier Avoid Liability for Damages

July 19, 2021

An Army servicemember was preparing to leave for over a month for a training exercise, when he was unexpectedly served with a lawsuit. He learned that his mother had forged his signature as a co-signor on her lease, and she was being sued for defaulting on the lease. The soldier was named as a co-defendant in the lawsuit. He visited his legal assistance office for help.

The soldier’s legal assistance attorney referred his case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which connected him with a pro bono attorney who agreed to represent the soldier for free. The volunteer attorney has the soldier dismissed from the lawsuit, protecting his military career and preventing him from liability for any damages.

Pro Bono Attorney Helped Get Suit Dismissed Against Sailor Who Refused to Pay Contractor for Faulty Work Performed

July 6, 2021

A Navy servicemember hired a construction company to remodel the bathrooms in his home so that he could rent it out before he was scheduled to move to his next duty station. The sailor paid a 20% down payment for the work, as well as an additional lump sum for plumbing, before the contractor began the work. Upon inspection, the sailor found that the work was not done properly, and he would need to spend much more money to get it fixed. He informed the contractor and canceled the check. Initially, the contractor agreed to accept a lower amount than was paid by the sailor upfront for the work performed, but then rescinded his offer and filed a warrant in debt for $4,000. The sailor visited his local legal assistance office for assistance in this dispute.

The sailor’s military attorney referred his case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which placed his case with a pro bono attorney. The sailor’s attorneys represented the sailor in court and eventually had the suit against the sailor dismissed.

Pro Bono Attorney Helps Sailor Receive Sole Custody After Child Developed Behavioral Issues When Living with Mother

June 21, 2021

A Navy servicemember had custody of his child after his divorce. After the child visited his mother, the child returned to living with his father and his school noticed that he had severe emotional and behavioral issues requiring therapy. The mother had diagnosed mental health problems, and a therapist opined that the child’s behavioral issues stemmed from his time with his mother. Worried about his child’s mental health and wellbeing if he returned to living with his mother, the sailor sought help from a military legal assistance attorney. His military attorney referred his case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which connected him with an attorney in his area.

A pro bono attorney worked diligently on the sailor’s behalf to seek full custody of the child on the sailor’s behalf. The attorney was successful in securing sole custody and decision-making responsibilities for the child.

Sailor Granted Emergency Custody Over Daughter After Learning of Abuse from Family Member

June 9, 2021

A Navy servicemember was deployed overseas when he learned that his young daughter, who lived with her mother, was being sexually abused by a family member. The sailor returned from his deployment immediately and sought emergency custody of his daughter, as it was discovered that her mother was aware of the abuse. The sailor visited his legal assistance office, which referred his case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. The Project placed his case with a volunteer attorney.

Another jurisdiction ultimately took control over the case, but the pro bono attorney stayed in touch with the sailor and explained how the system worked, as child services was also involved. The sailor prevailed and obtained custody over his daughter, and the new order included a provision for his daughter to live with the sailor’s mother while he finished out his deployment. The pro bono attorney also offered to represent the sailor pro bono in the future if there is a challenge to the modified custody order by the mother in his state.

An Airman and his Wife Adopt their Niece with the Help of Their Pro Bono Attorney

May 21, 2021

An Air Force servicemember and his wife had a niece who was suffering in an unsafe home environment with her parents. Her father had recently been arrested for child abuse, and her mother was addicted to substances. The Airman and his wife believed they could care for the child and give her a safe and stable home. They visited their local legal assistance office for advice about how to adopt the child.

Their legal assistance attorney referred their case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which connected them with a local pro bono attorney. The attorney guided the couple through the adoption process, and the couple successfully adopted their niece.

Pro Bono Attorneys Help Sailor in Basic Training Retain Primary Custody of Daughter

May 6, 2021

A Navy servicemember was in basic training when she learned that her child’s father was seeking primary physical custody of the child. Before that point, the child had lived exclusively with her mother. Although the father had not been involved in the child’s life, he was able to get a temporary custody order granting him joint custody. Due to the change in custody, the child experienced psychological problems and had to start seeing a therapist. Concerned for her child, the sailor visited her legal assistance office for help. Her JAG referred her case to the Military Pro Bono Project, which connected her with a pro bono attorney.

The pro bono attorneys took over the handling of the sailor’s case and represented her in court while she finished basic training. Eventually, her attorneys were able to secure a favorable court order granting the sailor almost complete custody of her child.