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Private bar increasingly coming to aid of military

More and more attention is, at last, being paid to the needs of military families, and that includes the area of legal help.

A recent article on the website of the Chicago-based Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law discussed not only the increase in assistance to veterans and their family members, but also the types of legal problems they can sometimes encounter.

“Improving the focus on military family issues is welcome, as the burdens placed on the men and women of our armed forces have increased throughout the past decade, where active-duty service members have become accustomed to frequent and lengthy deployments overseas,” the article states. “This trend has imposed great challenges on our military families, which may not end upon the service member’s discharge into our already-sizable veteran population. These include, unfortunately, a full range of legal issues, many of which are unique to those currently and formerly serving in the armed forces. As these legal needs have grown, they have been met with many local, state, and national initiatives enabling attorneys to step forward to deliver much-needed legal help to active-duty service members and veterans.”

Along with a greater focus on the needs of those serving their country, there has been a decrease, the article notes, in the “we take care of our own” mentality when it comes to legal concerns, paving the way for more private attorneys to become involved in the process.

“There is much that a private bar attorney can to do aid our current and former service members,” the website states.

The types of legal issues service members and their families can face include:

  • Landlord/tenant matters, including deposit recovery problems
  • Family law issues, especially child custody disputes arising around overseas deployment
  • Credit and lending problems, which can include payday loans, auto sales contracts, and interest rate reductions
  • Employment issues, particularly for National Guard members and Reservists needing to enforce reemployment rights
  • Guardianship needs, or estate matters on behalf of families of deceased service members
  • Securing vitally needed benefits for veterans from the Department of Veterans Affairs
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