B-120035, JULY 8, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 16

B-120035: Jul 8, 1954

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WHICH INCLUDED A PROPERTY SETTLEMENT BETWEEN THE PARTIES THAT WAS IN LIEU OF ALL ALIMONY. IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS ON ACCOUNT OF LAWFUL WIFE FOR PERIOD OF ONE YEAR FROM DATE OF THE DIVORCE DECREE. REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO CREDIT FIRST LIEUTENANT WILLIAM R. THERE WAS SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER A CERTIFIED COPY OF A JUDGMENT OF DIVORCE ENTERED IN THE MUNICIPAL COURT. WHOLLY DISSOLVING THE BONDS OF MATRIMONY BETWEEN THE PARTIES AND INCLUDING A PROPERTY SETTLEMENT BETWEEN THE PARTIES WHICH WAS "IN LIEU OF ALL ALIMONY.'. EXCEPT THAT THE PARTIES WERE IMMEDIATELY BARRED FROM COHABITATION TOGETHER. SHOULD BE DEEMED TO HAVE ENTIRELY SEVERED THE MARRIAGE RELATION IMMEDIATELY BEFORE SUCH DEATH.

B-120035, JULY 8, 1954, 34 COMP. GEN. 16

QUARTERS ALLOWANCE - PERIOD PENDING FINAL DIVORCE DECREE - PROPERTY SETTLEMENT IN LIEU OF ALIMONY AN ARMY OFFICER WHOSE WIFE OBTAINED A JUDGMENT OF DIVORCE IN WISCONSIN WHICH PROVIDED THAT THE JUDGMENT SHOULD NOT BE EFFECTIVE, SO FAR AS IT DETERMINED THE STATUS OF THE PARTIES, UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE THEREOF, AND WHICH INCLUDED A PROPERTY SETTLEMENT BETWEEN THE PARTIES THAT WAS IN LIEU OF ALL ALIMONY, IS ENTITLED TO PAYMENT OF BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS ON ACCOUNT OF LAWFUL WIFE FOR PERIOD OF ONE YEAR FROM DATE OF THE DIVORCE DECREE.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL WEITZEL TO CAPTAIN M. G. WINSOR, DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY, JULY 8, 954:

BY FIFTH ENDORSEMENT DATED MAY 12, 1954, THE CHIEF OF FINANCE FORWARDED TO THIS OFFICE YOUR LETTER DATED SEPTEMBER 1, 1953, REQUESTING DECISION WHETHER YOU ARE AUTHORIZED TO CREDIT FIRST LIEUTENANT WILLIAM R. PORTER, 10-964,967, WITH BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS ON ACCOUNT OF A LAWFUL WIFE FOR THE PERIOD OF ONE YEAR SUBSEQUENT TO A JUDGMENT OF DIVORCE DATED JULY 24, 1953.

THERE WAS SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER A CERTIFIED COPY OF A JUDGMENT OF DIVORCE ENTERED IN THE MUNICIPAL COURT, RACINE COUNTY, WISCONSIN, ON JULY 24, 1953, IN THE CASE OF EILEEN M. PORTER, PLAINTIFF, V. WILLIAM R. PORTER, DEFENDANT, WHOLLY DISSOLVING THE BONDS OF MATRIMONY BETWEEN THE PARTIES AND INCLUDING A PROPERTY SETTLEMENT BETWEEN THE PARTIES WHICH WAS "IN LIEU OF ALL ALIMONY.' THE JUDGMENT ORDERED AND ADJUDGED THAT THE DEFENDANT PAY TO THE PLAINTIFF (AS A PART OF THE PROPERTY SETTLEMENT) THE SUM OF $2,400 AT THE RATE OF $100 PER MONTH, RETROACTIVE TO THE MONTH OF APRIL 1953; THAT THE JUDGMENT SHOULD NOT BE EFFECTIVE SO FAR AS IT DETERMINED THE STATUS OF THE PARTIES UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE OF THE JUDGMENT, JULY 24, 1953, EXCEPT THAT THE PARTIES WERE IMMEDIATELY BARRED FROM COHABITATION TOGETHER; THAT THE JUDGMENT MIGHT BE REVIEWED ON APPEAL DURING THE ONE YEAR PERIOD; THAT IN CASE EITHER OF THE PARTIES DIED DURING THE SAID PERIOD THE JUDGMENT, UNLESS VACATED OR REVERSED, SHOULD BE DEEMED TO HAVE ENTIRELY SEVERED THE MARRIAGE RELATION IMMEDIATELY BEFORE SUCH DEATH; AND THAT NEITHER OF THE PARTIES SHOULD MARRY AGAIN EXCEPT TO EACH OTHER UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF THE ONE-YEAR PERIOD.

SECTION 247.37, WISCONSIN STATUTE, 1951, PROVIDES THAT A JUDGMENT OR DECREE OF DIVORCE INSOFAR AS IT AFFECTS THE STATUS OF THE PARTIES SHALL NOT BE EFFECTIVE UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF ONE YEAR FROM THE DATE THEREOF, AND THE COURTS OF THE STATE OF WISCONSIN HAVE HELD THAT, UNDER A JUDGMENT OR DECREE OF DIVORCE GRANTED PURSUANT THERETO, THE PARTIES CONTINUE TO BE HUSBAND AND WIFE DURING THE PERIOD OF ONE YEAR FOLLOWING SUCH DECREE OR JUDGMENT UNLESS THAT STATUS IS TERMINATED AS INDICATED IN THE STATUTE. SEE STATE V. GRENGS, 253 WIS. 248, 33 N.W.2D 248.

HENCE, IT APPEARS THAT THE MARRIAGE OF FIRST LIEUTENANT PORTER WAS NOT DISSOLVED AS OF THE DATE OF THE AFORESAID JUDGMENT OF DIVORCE AND THAT HIS MARITAL STATUS WILL CONTINUE FOR ONE YEAR THEREAFTER UNLESS IT IS TERMINATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE APPLICABLE STATUTES. SEE B-49382, JULY 23, 1945--- CASE OF LIEUTENANT HAROLD V. BERGS, USNR; B-77093, NOVEMBER 18, 1948--- CASE OF MAJOR ADELBERT F. KLEINER, QMC; AND B 88966, JANUARY 3, 1950--- CASE OF FIRST LIEUTENANT DONALD F. DRAEGER, USMC. ACCORDINGLY, IN VIEW OF THE PROPERTY SETTLEMENT INCLUDED IN THE JUDGMENT, WHICH WAS IN LIEU OF ALL ALIMONY (COMPARE 24 COMP. GEN. 88; 26 ID. 514; 33 ID. 308), PAYMENT OF BASIC ALLOWANCES FOR QUARTERS TO LIEUTENANT PORTER ON ACCOUNT OF DEPENDENTS (LAWFUL WIFE) WILL BE PASSED TO CREDIT, IF OTHERWISE CORRECT, FOR THE PERIOD OF ONE YEAR FROM JULY 24, 1953, PROVIDED THERE IS NO MATERIAL CHANGE IN HIS MARITAL STATUS DURING SUCH PERIOD.

THE MILITARY PAY ORDER AND THE ORIGINAL COPY OF THE JUDGMENT OF DIVORCE, SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER, ARE RETURNED, THE OTHER PAPERS BEING RETAINED IN THIS OFFICE. THIS DECISION, OR A COPY THEREOF, SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE ACCOUNT WHEREIN CREDIT FOR PAYMENT UNDER AUTHORITY HEREOF IS CLAIMED.