Military legal question

Military legal question

This is a discussion on Military legal question within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; My wife has a friend (call her K) whose ex-husband (M) is in the Army. They have joint legal custody, and he has physical custody. ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Random's Avatar
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    Military legal question

    My wife has a friend (call her K) whose ex-husband (M) is in the Army. They have joint legal custody, and he has physical custody. He is remarried (to S).

    M & S have a home that K has the address to. However, M is currently assigned elsewhere. M has not communicated with K at all, and K does not know where M is currently stationed, or how to get ahold of him. S adamantly refuses to provide this information.

    S has now informed K that M has received orders to go to Korea at the end of January. They intend to take the child with them. K, wants to prevent this (I think for obvious reasons).

    Obviously, K needs to file the necessary court documents. But there is cause for concern with regard to serving M. According to everything I have read and experienced, serving him at his residence with his current wife would constitute a legal service, but if S doesn't inform M of the service, it would do little good if M were to leave to Korea with the child.

    Since S refuses to provide information for K to contact M, does K have any recourse through military channels?

    Thanks

    Edit:
    Forgot about this: If K gets a TRO to prevent M from leaving the country with the child, she will obviously have to inform someone in the Army about it. Would that just be a chain-of-command thing, or is there a different way something like that is handled?


  2. #2
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    The military has specific units to deal with this very issue. Its family affairs or services... something like that. The Army will serve K with the legal paperwork, without her having contact with him. Like all things military and legal, things tend to move slow. Time is not on her side.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    IIRC she can go through JAG office and arrange service. They can also nix his deployment until all pending legal actions are resolved. Playing hide and go seek to avoid legal processes can be a career limiting move on his part.
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    VIP Member Array Stevew's Avatar
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    JAG usually doesn't represent ex-wifes. The state that the child custody case was settled in probably still has jurisdiction over case. She just has to lawyer up and see where things fall in the civilian court system. She can contact his CSM. What ended up happening to me in a simlar situation was that the ex-wife was responsible for buying a ticket for the the kids to be flown to her location. I had to purchase tickets for them to come back home. Visitation was revised to major holidays and the ex got them for half of summer break. If they are agreeable he can have base legal draw up paperwork for free and submit it to the court. If they do not abide by current custody agreement they will probably in contempt of court.
    Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around laws. Plato

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    Member Array Random's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcp1810 View Post
    Playing hide and go seek to avoid legal processes can be a career limiting move on his part.
    That's what I was thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevew View Post
    She just has to lawyer up and see where things fall in the civilian court system.
    She can't "lawyer up and see where things fall" given that SHE has to file the TRO, and doesn't know where he is to do so.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevew View Post
    She can contact his CSM.
    That would be fine, if (a) she or I knew what a CSM was, and more importantly, (b) HOW to make this contact. Please remember - She doesn't know where he is.

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    Senior Member Array rolyat63's Avatar
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    Does the child currently posses a US Passport? If not it takes both parents to obtain one for just this reason (parent illegally taking child out of the country).

    Yes, I would contact his Command Sergeants Major (CSM) or commander.
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    Senior Member Array Daddy Warcrimes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Random View Post
    That would be fine, if (a) she or I knew what a CSM was, and more importantly, (b) HOW to make this contact. Please remember - She doesn't know where he is.
    These things are easily corrected.
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    New Member Array 21Guns's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rolyat63 View Post
    Yes, I would contact his Command Sergeants Major (CSM) or commander.
    First off the best way to do this if K does not currently have the means to is through a Red Cross Message. They are sent to a soldiers chain of command before said soldier (or spouse) ever gets their hands on them.

    And Secondly Korea is not an accompanied tour unless M has quite a bit of rank under his belt I don't see the child going with him to Korea. More than likely the child is staying back in the CONUS (Continental United States) with the step-mother. Which then would also be illegal unless the step-mother S has been deemed a legal guardian. So in all reality the child should be with it's Biological mother while he does his tour in Korea.
    "Only the dead have seen the end of war."
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    Senior Member Array cagueits's Avatar
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    Assuming your friend lives in NC.... Go here and find out where the nearest legal aid clinic is and request help:

    Legal Aid of North Carolina Jump

    If help is not available there, try state bar associations, the state bar and sometimes the clerk in the court will give you a few phone numbers of attorneys who do pro bono work.

    She needs to check whatever was ordered/agreed with regards to if M is authorized to relocate the child out of state lines without prior non custodial parent/court consent. If nothing was agreed, she needs to let the court know that M plans to relocate the child out of state without the court's consent. She needs to argue that a harship will occur since she will not be able to see the child on weekends, visit school, be in contact with community child will live at, etc, etc. She needs to request physical custody if she is able to articulate why she should have it instead of him. She can cite availability of time to spend with child, as M is AD military and with current events subject to constant deployment. As a minimum she needs to request the court to issue an order that states the child is not to leave the current state until a full custody evaluation can be performed (usually those last a year or so - he can go to Korea, but the child can't go legaly).

    She needs an attorney unless she can dig in and process some serious court stuff and represent herself in a short ammount of time (read get an attorney anyway she can).
    I can no longer keep track of threads as I used to. If you need to contact me, PM me instead of asking me something in the thread. Disclaimer - No legal advice issued anywhere. Take care.

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