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Volunteer Attorney Helps Sailor Modify Child Custody Order

July 5, 2018

During the end of his deployment, a Navy servicemember was informed that Child Protective Services removed his child from his ex-wife’s home and was placed with the servicemember’s mother, the child’s grandmother. When the servicemember and ex-wife divorced, they agreed that the ex-wife would have primary physical child custody. However, a few years after the divorce, his ex-wife developed major substance abuse problems and could not provide a safe home.

The servicemember was confident that he could provide a safe and stable home for his child, along with consistent care with relatives if deployed again in the future, but he needed help to move through the court system. The servicemember visited a military legal assistance office, which referred this case to the ABA Military Pro Bono Project. The program located an attorney who offered to provide pro bono help. With the volunteer attorney’s assistance, the servicemember obtained sole custody of his child and the mother was restricted to supervised visitation.


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