B-164626, JUL. 8, 1968

B-164626: Jul 8, 1968

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K. KIRKPATRICK: FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 19. 1968 (YOUR FILE ALCFO) REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER AN ARMY CAPTAIN MAY BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE A LAWFUL WIFE FOR THE PURPOSES OF HIS ENTITLEMENT TO BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS OR OTHER ALLOWANCES IN HER BEHALF. YOU HAVE FURNISHED INFORMATION SHOWING THAT THE OFFICER WAS DIVORCED FROM HIS FIRST WIFE (WHOM HE HAD MARRIED ON JANUARY 16. THAT HE WAS MARRIED IN EL PASO. THE CAPTAIN HAS SUBMITTED A CERTIFICATE AVERRING THAT HE AND HIS FIRST WIFE WERE DOMICILED IN ALABAMA ON AUGUST 8. THAT THE SECOND WIFE WAS DOMICILED IN MARYLAND ON THAT DATE. WE SAID: "IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT UNLESS A FOREIGN COURT GRANTING A DIVORCE HAD JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THE DIVORCE BY REASON OF A BONA FIDE RESIDENCE OR DOMICILE THERE.

B-164626, JUL. 8, 1968

TO FIRST LIEUTENANT T. K. KIRKPATRICK:

FURTHER REFERENCE IS MADE TO YOUR LETTER OF APRIL 19, 1968 (YOUR FILE ALCFO) REQUESTING A DECISION AS TO WHETHER AN ARMY CAPTAIN MAY BE CONSIDERED TO HAVE A LAWFUL WIFE FOR THE PURPOSES OF HIS ENTITLEMENT TO BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS OR OTHER ALLOWANCES IN HER BEHALF. YOUR REQUEST FOR DECISION HAS BEEN ALLOCATED D.O. NUMBER A-1002 BY THE DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE MILITARY PAY AND ALLOWANCE COMMITTEE.

YOU HAVE FURNISHED INFORMATION SHOWING THAT THE OFFICER WAS DIVORCED FROM HIS FIRST WIFE (WHOM HE HAD MARRIED ON JANUARY 16, 1958, IN AUGSBURG, GERMANY) ON AUGUST 8, 1967, BY A MEXICAN COURT IN JUAREZ, MEXICO, AND THAT HE WAS MARRIED IN EL PASO, TEXAS, ON AUGUST 9, 1967. IN THE DIVORCE PROCEEDINGS AN ATTORNEY IN FACT ANSWERED THE DIVORCE PETITION ON BEHALF OF THE FIRST WIFE. THE CAPTAIN HAS SUBMITTED A CERTIFICATE AVERRING THAT HE AND HIS FIRST WIFE WERE DOMICILED IN ALABAMA ON AUGUST 8, 1967, AND THAT THE SECOND WIFE WAS DOMICILED IN MARYLAND ON THAT DATE.

IN DECISION OF AUGUST 16, 1956, 36 COMP. GEN. 121, 122, WE SAID:

"IT IS WELL ESTABLISHED THAT UNLESS A FOREIGN COURT GRANTING A DIVORCE HAD JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MATTER OF THE DIVORCE BY REASON OF A BONA FIDE RESIDENCE OR DOMICILE THERE, OF AT LEAST ONE OF THE PARTIES, ITS DECREE OF DIVORCE WILL NOT, UNDER THE RULES OF INTERNATIONAL COMITY, BE RECOGNIZED IN ONE OF THE STATES OF THE UNITED STATES, EVEN THOUGH THE LAWS OF SUCH FOREIGN COUNTRY DO NOT MAKE RESIDENCE OR DOMICILE A CONDITION TO ITS COURT'S TAKING JURISDICTION. ANNOTATION, 143 A.L.R. 1312, AND CASES CITED.' COMPARE 47 COMP. GEN. 286.

SINCE IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE DIVORCE GRANTED BY THE MEXICAN COURT IN THIS CASE IS ENTITLED TO RECOGNITION IN THIS COUNTRY UNDER THE RULES OF INTERNATIONAL COMITY, YOUR QUESTION MUST BE ANSWERED IN THE NEGATIVE.