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Bar Association Publishes Legal Guide for Military Families

Military families often face unique legal issues – issues with which civilian families, and civilian lawyers, often are unfamiliar.

Photo provided by a JML client.

Photo provided by a JML client.

The American Bar Association (ABA) and Random House Reference hope to help families navigate those issues with a new book, “The American Bar Association Legal Guide for Military Families.” Attorneys who have actually worked with military service members and their families for years wrote the book’s first edition in hope of helping service members and their families.

“’The Legal Guide for Military Families’ complements the important work being done by state and local bar associations throughout the nation to provide legal services to military personnel and their families,” Kim Askew, chair of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Public Education, says. “The guide helps military members and their families to understand their rights and protections and to know when to seek legal assistance.”

The book includes tips to help readers make informed legal decisions. Among the information included in the book:

  • How to find state and federal resources, including pro bono clinics and legal aid offices.

  • An explanation of the eligibility requirements for veterans’ benefits.

  • How to navigate family law issues, including marriage, divorce, child custody, and ex-spouses.

  • An explanation of benefits for same-sex spouses.

  • An explanation of estate planning basics and life insurance.

  • An explanation of health care and disability insurance and coverage.

  • Advice on negotiating the sale of homes and vehicles. (If you’re having financial issues because of a pending home sale, consider a short-term military loan.)

  • Information on navigating the Service Members Civil Relief Act, which provides protections for military members when they enter active duty.

David Ehrhart, a retired Air Force brigadier general and chair of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Legal Assistance for Military Personnel, says the book provides valuable information for military members and their families.

“The guide successfully bridges the knowledge gap for service members, veterans and their families between their awareness of legal rights and their need for counsel to help resolve their legal issues,” he said.

The new book is available from online booksellers and at bookstores, with a list price of $14.99, and it is also available as an ebook.

For more information about resources for military families, visit the ABA’s Home Front website.

Have you purchased or read this new guide? How has it helped you and your family out of a legal tough spot? We’d love to hear your stories.

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