When legal issues arise, support members and their families have many resources at their hands, much of it free. Legal help is available whether you need a professional to examine a contract, help with estate planning, complete deployment-related legal documents, or get suggestions about mediation for kid custody. Listed below are a few of your options.

Free legal help from the legal help office Your installation’s legal help office may help in situations where you may need advice or help to complete legal documents. Active and retired service members and members of the household are eligible for free legal help advice – but not representation in court – on a wide range of matters, including:

Drafting powers of attorney Drafting wills Estate planning Family law (like adoption, marriage, divorce, alimony and property division) Contracts and lease review Notary services Consumer advice (ranging from debt management and credit reporting to ID theft) Tax help Immigration and naturalization issues Civil lawsuits Service member rights and responsibilities Misdemeanors and traffic offenses The Servicemembers Civil Relief Act provides support members using a wide array of rights and benefits, from interest rate reductions to eviction protection. Know your rights and available perks.

For document translation services, contact Military OneSource Specialty Consultations. You may get help in distributing a lease during an overseas move, a certificate of birth, a marriage license along with other documents. Telephone a Military OneSource consultant at 800-342-9647 for document translation or legal issues.

Where legal help offices can not help There are other issues where legal help offices won’t be capable to assist. They comprise:

Providing legal advice to 3rd parties or opposing parties on the Exact Same issue Claims against the government and serious issues Legal issues about your owned business In-court representation (Although legal assistance lawyers usually don’t represent clients in courtroom, some support branches do offer the Expanded Legal Assistance Program, which allows for in-court representation in limited cases.) See below for help on finding a personal attorney. Use the Armed Forces Legal Help Locator to find the closest legal assistance office.

Help with some other issues that are lawful: army defense counsel, personal lawyers For criminal issues or other issues not available through your installation’s legal help office, you’ll most likely wish to consider a private civilian attorney. If you’re facing discharge or criminal prosecution from the army, you can seek help from military defense counsel.
Seeking non-military counsel: Services provided within a legal assistance office are free. You may also have to cover personal counsel — if so, ask your legal help attorney if your case qualifies for pro bono representation or reduced fee representation. If not, ask about personal civilian legal representation available in your area.

Seeking military defense counsel: Military defense counsel are all lawful offices separate from your regional legal assistance office, and available to you in case you’re facing prosecution by the army. As a service member, you have the right to be represented at your court-martial.