Sarah Miller and her husband Jacob were excited to get the news that he would soon be stationed in Hawaii after spending the last four years in Killeen, Texas. Both, originally from South Texas, felt that this would be a whole new chapter for them in one of the most beautiful places in the world.
Sarah knew that in order for her to move with her husband and their children, she would have to alert her oldest son’s father. She had her oldest, John, 4 years before she met Jacob. When she called John’s father to let him know about their big move, he reminded her that their custody documents did not allow her to move so far away with their son. Sarah was unsure about what to do. If her husband missed his report date, it could lead to his eventual discharge from the army. As a matter of fact, if the family did not make the flights already paid for them by the military, it would have been considered a waste of government spending. New orders would need to be issued to keep the family stationed in Fort Hood, or new airfare for a later time would need to be arranged. All of which would have reflected poorly against Jacob’s military career.
Sarah applied for legal assistance with Lone Star Legal Aid and was referred to the Military Veterans Unit, which helps veterans or active duty military, their spouses, and dependents. Lori Fergie, a staff attorney, took Sarah’s case and began working on a modification of custody. While John’s father’s attorney tried to push back the hearing dates, attorney Fergie knew that Sarah and her husband had a short timeline to get this sorted out and report to Hawaii on time. Fergie spoke frankly with the judge regarding the urgency and the timeline. With a full docket, the judge fit them in and the case was completed within two days. Sarah and her husband were able to move to Hawaii with all their children.
*Names were changed to protect the client’s identity.