Eric Allison is an honorably discharged Army veteran who has a four-year-old daughter named Marley with his former partner and two children from another relationship. Though he and his former partner had never been married, Mr. Allison is listed as the father on their daughter’s birth certificate.

In June 2019, Mr. Allison’s partner was granted custodial rights and Mr. Allison was given a visitation schedule and an order to pay monthly child support. Later, the child’s mother was eventually reported to CPS for biting her new boyfriend’s child and causing injury; the investigation that followed uncovered that all the children in the mother’s household had been subjected to this abuse. His former partner was arrested and jailed for the incident, allowing Mr. Allison to receive custody of his daughter.

After being released in January 2020, Marley’s mother came by to retrieve her daughter, but Mr. Allison was afraid to let her go. He contacted Lone Star Legal Aid’s Military Veterans Unit to obtain a court order naming him the parent with the authority to determine the exclusive residence of his daughter for her best interest. LSLA attempted to work out an agreement with the mother, to no avail. After a contested hearing, the court granted Mr. Allison the right to determine where his daughter should stay, and she was able to remain with her father, siblings, and the school where she had made tremendous progress.