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Volunteer Attorney Helps Marine and Wife Obtain Custody Over Niece

September 19, 2017

A Marine and his wife found their four-year-old niece in a devastating situation. The child’s mother and father were both in jail. Although both incarcerated parents wanted their child to reside with the Marine and his wife, another relative took possession of the child and planned to fight for custody. This relative had a long criminal history, was violent, and was not fit to care for the child. For the child’s safety, the Marine and his wife removed the child from the relative. Soon thereafter, they realized that they needed to take quick legal actions and, because they were stationed in another state, needed help from a local attorney.

The Marine and his wife visited a military legal assistance attorney who referred their case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project, which promptly secured an experienced volunteer family law attorney. Through the attorney’s dedicated pro bono legal representation, the Marine and his wife received a positive outcome: They obtained a temporary custody order over their niece. The military family—along with the incarcerated parents—could rest assured that the young child would have a safe and stable home during a difficult time, along with services provided by the military to help with the child’s mental health issues.


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