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This Week’s Pro Bono Success Story

May 12, 2010

A mother, an Army specialist, was divorced in 2005 in California and entered into parent-child order giving both parents joint legal and physical custody with the child’s domicile restricted to California. The mother was subsequently transferred to Texas, leaving the child to live with the father. In the summer of 2007, the child was 13 years-old and went to stay with soldier/mom in Texas. During that visit, the child decided he did not want to return to California to live with his father, alleged to be an alcoholic. The child remained with the mother in Texas without action by the father, but the existing custody order was never modified. The next year, the soldier was willing to send child back to California to see the father for a couple of weeks of summer visitation, but was concerned that the child would not be returned unless a court order was in place formally modifying custody in favor of the mother. The Military Pro Bono Project located a volunteer attorney in California to represent the soldier in custody modification proceeding pro bono, which ultimately resulted in the soldier gaining permanent physical custody of the child.

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