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With volunteer attorney’s help, a military family gains custody over nieces

October 30, 2014

An Army servicemember and his wife visited a military legal assistance attorney, because they were concerned about a custody hearing concerning their nieces. The soldier and his wife had temporary custody of their young nieces, because the children’s mother was incarcerated. They filed for custody pro se, but the biological father retained counsel to contest their custody. The military family was very worried, because the biological father had not been involved in the children’s lives, he never provided child support, and he had a criminal record and mental health problems. The military family’s JAG referred this case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which located a pro bono attorney to help. Although the father fought for custody, the volunteer attorney successfully helped the military family retain permanent sole legal and physical custody of their nieces—giving these children a safe and stable home.

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