B-129611, DEC. 4, 1956

B-129611: Dec 4, 1956

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AF17186284: REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 8. IN WHICH YOU WERE FURNISHED A STATEMENT OF YOUR PAY ACCOUNT FOR THE PERIOD FROM JULY 1. " SAYING THAT YOU FEEL THE DEDUCTION WAS ERRONEOUS SINCE IN YOUR OPINION YOU WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR EX-WIFE'S SUPPORT UNTIL THE DIVORCE BECAME FINAL ON AUGUST 5. IN ANY CASE IN WHICH A FAMILY ALLOWANCE IS GRANTED UNDER THIS TITLE. IF ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS ARE MADE AS A RESULT OF THE SERVICEMAN'S FRAUD. HE IS JOINTLY LIABLE WITH THE PAYEE TO REFUND SUCH PAYMENTS. YOU AND YOUR WIFE ARE JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY LIABLE TO REPAY THE AMOUNT OF THE OVERPAYMENTS. 33 COMP. THE AMOUNT OF THE OVERPAYMENT PROPERLY IS CHARGEABLE AGAINST YOUR ACCOUNT.

B-129611, DEC. 4, 1956

TO TECHNICAL SERGEANT ROBERT D. RIDGE, AF17186284:

REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 8, 1956, REGARDING OUR SETTLEMENT OF JULY 26, 1954, IN WHICH YOU WERE FURNISHED A STATEMENT OF YOUR PAY ACCOUNT FOR THE PERIOD FROM JULY 1, 1949, TO FEBRUARY 20, 1950.

YOU QUESTION THE CORRECTNESS OF A DEBIT ITEM OF $140, REPRESENTING "OVERPAYMENT FAMILY ALLOWANCE JAN THROUGH AUG 1949 ON ACCOUNT OF DEPENDENT WIFE," SAYING THAT YOU FEEL THE DEDUCTION WAS ERRONEOUS SINCE IN YOUR OPINION YOU WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOUR EX-WIFE'S SUPPORT UNTIL THE DIVORCE BECAME FINAL ON AUGUST 5, 1949.

RESPECTING THE PAYMENT OF A FAMILY ALLOWANCE TO A WIFE SEPARATED OR DIVORCED FROM HER HUSBAND, SECTION 106/C) OF THE SERVICEMEN'S DEPENDENTS ALLOWANCE ACT OF 1942, 56 STAT. 383, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 6/C) OF THE ACT OF OCTOBER 26, 1943, 57 STAT. 578, PROVIDED:

"/C) NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISIONS OF THIS TITLE, IN ANY CASE IN WHICH A FAMILY ALLOWANCE IS GRANTED UNDER THIS TITLE---

"/1) TO A WIFE LIVING SEPARATE AND APART FROM THE ENLISTED MAN UNDER A PERMANENT OR TEMPORARY COURT ORDER OR DECREE OR WRITTEN AGREEMENT, THE AMOUNT OF THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYABLE TO SUCH WIFE SHALL NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT PROVIDED IN SUCH ORDER, DECREE, OR WRITTEN AGREEMENT TO BE PAID TO SUCH WIFE, AND IF SUCH ORDER, DECREE, OR WRITTEN AGREEMENT PROVIDES NO AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO SUCH WIFE, NO FAMILY ALLOWANCE SHALL BE PAYABLE TO HER; OR

"/2) TO A FORMER WIFE DIVORCED, THE AMOUNT OF THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYABLE TO SUCH FORMER WIFE DIVORCED SHALL NOT EXCEED THE AMOUNT FIXED IN THE COURT ORDER OR DECREE AS THE AMOUNT TO BE PAID TO SUCH FORMER WIFE DIVORCED.'

AS A GENERAL RULE, LEGAL LIABILITY RESTS SOLELY ON THE RECIPIENT OF FAMILY ALLOWANCE PAYMENTS TO REFUND TO THE UNITED STATES OVERPAYMENTS RECEIVED. IF ERRONEOUS PAYMENTS ARE MADE AS A RESULT OF THE SERVICEMAN'S FRAUD, MISREPRESENTATION OR MISTAKE, HOWEVER, HE IS JOINTLY LIABLE WITH THE PAYEE TO REFUND SUCH PAYMENTS. SINCE THE INTERLOCUTORY DECREE OF DIVORCE IN YOUR CASE MADE NO PROVISION FOR ALIMONY OR SUPPORT AND SINCE IT APPEARS THAT YOU FAILED TO GIVE TIMELY NOTICE OF THE CHANGE IN STATUS EFFECTED BY SUCH DECREE, YOU AND YOUR WIFE ARE JOINTLY AND SEVERALLY LIABLE TO REPAY THE AMOUNT OF THE OVERPAYMENTS. 33 COMP. GEN. 309. ACCORDINGLY, THE AMOUNT OF THE OVERPAYMENT PROPERLY IS CHARGEABLE AGAINST YOUR ACCOUNT.