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With Pro Bono Attorney Help, Soldier Stationed Overseas Obtains Expedited Custody Order

January 22, 2016

An Army servicemember stationed in Germany was contacted by his child’s mother requesting that he take physical custody of their child because she does not have a steady source of income and it would be in the child’s best interests to live with the soldier. However, the servicemember could not his bring his daughter to Germany to live with him without a court order granting primary physical custody. In addition, the local clerk of court advised the soldier that if he did not have legal representation there would likely be a one-year wait time to get a custody order issued.  The servicemember’s legal assistance attorney could not represent him in court so the ABA Military Pro Bono Project referred him to a local family law attorney who was quickly able to meet with the servicemember, research procedural guidelines, prepare the custody petition and work with the court to facilitate proper service of the petition. Within one month of the attorney referral, the court issued the soldier an order giving him full custody of his daughter and, within a week of the order, the soldier was scheduled to return to Germany with his daughter. In addition to physical custody, the soldier can now provide his daughter with the military healthcare, schooling and financial support she so desperately needed.

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