June 21, 2005 – Posted at 5:18 p.m. CDT
POPLAR BLUFF, MO -- K8 News receives lots of emails every day about potential story ideas, but when we got one all the way from Iraq, we took notice. Specialist Bradley Felps wrote to us about the legal problems he's facing on the home front.
Felps is part of the 735th Main Support Battalion out of Doniphan. He's also a father of two paying child support. While he's been overseas, his ex-wife has filed a motion of modification challenging his child support payments.
“The problem we have dealt with, that Bradley has dealt with and other soldiers in his situation deal with, as a practical matter, they are unavailable,” said Felps’ attorney Bill Gresham.
Communication is a big problem…. Felps can only talk with his lawyer regularly through e-mail and send paperwork through the mail by Fed-Ex.
“It's difficult for me to speak with him over the phone, so if there are questions or issues, there is a time delay here,” said Gresham.
The Servicemen Civil Relief Act is designed to protect active soldiers on duty from financial legal issues, but because this is a domestic matter, it's considered a gray area.
“He gets shot at at least once a day,” said Felps’ wife Amy, “He sure doesn’t need to be dealing with this right now.”
Felps' absence makes it tough on everyone.
“The impediments to regular real-time communication are such that it's virtually impossible for Bradley to be here to participate in any of the court proceedings,” said Gresham, “I think there is a lot of other things that they need to worry about and this is something that could probably wait.”