B-2574, MAY 9, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 829

B-2574: May 9, 1939

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THAT IF AN APPEAL IS TAKEN WITHIN 60 DAYS. " WHICH ORDERED THAT "THE BONDS OF MATRIMONY HERETOFORE EXISTING BETWEEN THE COMPLAINANT AND DEFENDANT BE AND THE SAME ARE HEREBY DISSOLVED. " IS EFFECTIVE. 1939: THERE ARE BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION VOUCHER NO. 14. WAS PAID ALLOWANCES AS WITH DEPENDENTS (WIFE). MARCH 1937 ACCOUNTS OF THE SAME DISBURSING OFFICER WHEREBY THE OFFICER WAS PAID ALLOWANCES AS WITH DEPENDENTS (WIFE FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 1937. APRIL 1937 ACCOUNTS OF THE SAME DISBURSING OFFICER WHEREBY THE OFFICER WAS PAID ALLOWANCES AS WITH DEPENDENTS (WIFE) FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL 1937. GORE RECEIVED PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR MAY 1937 IT WAS NOTED THAT HE HAD NOT CLAIMED INCREASED ALLOWANCES ON BEHALF OF A DEPENDENT AND THAT IN EXECUTING THE VOUCHER HE STATED IN THE SPACE ALLOTTED FOR NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF DEPENDENTS .

B-2574, MAY 9, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 829

DIVORCE - EFFECTIVE DATE - RENTAL AND SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE PURPOSES A DIVORCE DECREE OF AN ALABAMA COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION, ISSUED UNDER A STATUTE REQUIRING "THAT NEITHER PARTY SHALL AGAIN MARRY EXCEPT TO EACH OTHER UNTIL 60 DAYS AFTER DECREE RENDERED, AND THAT IF AN APPEAL IS TAKEN WITHIN 60 DAYS, NEITHER PARTY SHALL AGAIN MARRY EXCEPT TO EACH OTHER DURING THE PENDENCY OF SAID APPEAL," WHICH ORDERED THAT "THE BONDS OF MATRIMONY HERETOFORE EXISTING BETWEEN THE COMPLAINANT AND DEFENDANT BE AND THE SAME ARE HEREBY DISSOLVED," IS EFFECTIVE, FOR DISCONTINUANCE OF INCREASED DEPENDENCY (WIFE) ALLOWANCE PURPOSES, FROM DATE OF ITS RENDITION, AND NOT 60 DAYS THEREAFTER.

DECISION BY COMPTROLLER GENERAL BROWN, MAY 9, 1939:

THERE ARE BEFORE THIS OFFICE FOR CONSIDERATION VOUCHER NO. 14, MARCH 1937 ACCOUNTS OF MAJ. HUGH WHITT, F.D., UNITED STATES ARMY, WHEREBY LT.COL. THOMAS L. GORE, MEDICAL CORPS, UNITED STATES ARMY, WAS PAID ALLOWANCES AS WITH DEPENDENTS (WIFE), FOR THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY 1937; VOUCHER NO. 2926, MARCH 1937 ACCOUNTS OF THE SAME DISBURSING OFFICER WHEREBY THE OFFICER WAS PAID ALLOWANCES AS WITH DEPENDENTS (WIFE FOR THE MONTH OF MARCH 1937, AND VOUCHER NO. 3474, APRIL 1937 ACCOUNTS OF THE SAME DISBURSING OFFICER WHEREBY THE OFFICER WAS PAID ALLOWANCES AS WITH DEPENDENTS (WIFE) FOR THE MONTH OF APRIL 1937.

IN THE AUDIT OF THE VOUCHER ON WHICH LT.COL. THOMAS L. GORE RECEIVED PAY AND ALLOWANCES FOR MAY 1937 IT WAS NOTED THAT HE HAD NOT CLAIMED INCREASED ALLOWANCES ON BEHALF OF A DEPENDENT AND THAT IN EXECUTING THE VOUCHER HE STATED IN THE SPACE ALLOTTED FOR NAMES AND ADDRESSES OF DEPENDENTS ,NONE.' UNDER DATE OF AUGUST 1, 1938, THE FINANCE OFFICE, UNITED STATES ARMY, FORT MCPHERSON, A., WAS ADVISED OF THE FACT THAT THE OFFICER HAD SHOWN HIS DEPENDENTS AS "NONE" AND IT WAS REQUESTED THAT A STATEMENT BE FURNISHED FROM LIEUTENANT COLONEL GORE SHOWING THE DATE HE CEASED TO HAVE A WIFE, BY DEATH OR OTHERWISE, AND IF DIVORCED THERE SHOULD BE FURNISHED A CERTIFIED COPY OF HIS FINAL DIVORCE DECREE. IN COMPLIANCE WITH THIS REQUEST THERE WAS SUBMITTED A COPY OF A DECREE RENDERED FEBRUARY 11, 1937, BY THE CIRCUIT COURT OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY IN EQUITY IN THE CAUSE, ANNA M. GORE V. THOMAS LEE GORE. CREDIT FOR INCREASED SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE OBTAINED ON BEHALF OF A LAWFUL WIFE FROM FEBRUARY 12, 1937, WAS WITHHELD UPON THIS EVIDENCE THAT LIEUTENANT COLONEL GORE'S FINAL DIVORCE DECREE WAS DATED FEBRUARY 11, 1937. THE OFFICER REFUNDED $24 PAID ON VOUCHER NO. 3474, COVERING INCREASED SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE OBTAINED FROM APRIL 11 TO 30, 1937, AND BY SECOND ENDORSEMENT OF DECEMBER 20, 1938, TO THE FINANCE OFFICE, FORT MCPHERSON, ATLANTA, GA., STATED:

1. IN REFERENCE TO THE REQUEST FOR A RETURN OF $69.60 AMOUNT CLAIMED TO BE OVERPAID TO ME ON SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE DURING THE MONTHS OF FEBRUARY, MARCH, AND APRIL, THIS AMOUNT WAS COLLECTED AS A RESULT OF A PERSONAL VISIT TO THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF FINANCE IN FEBRUARY 1937 WHERE THIS CASE WAS DISCUSSED AND WHERE IT WAS GIVEN THE INFORMATION THAT IT WAS RIGHT AND PROPER FOR ME TO COLLECT SUBSISTENCE UNTIL APRIL 10, 1937. THE DIVORCE DECREE HAD A PERIOD OF SIXTY DAYS BEFORE IT WAS FINAL, THAT IS, FROM FEBRUARY 11, WHEN IT WAS GRANTED, UNTIL APRIL 11, WHEN IT BECAME FINAL.

2. REQUEST THAT THIS BE REVIEWED IN THE OFFICE OF THE CHIEF OF FINANCE PRIOR TO ANY SETTLEMENT.

THE DECREE OF THE CIRCUIT COURT OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, ALA., IS DATED FEBRUARY 11, 1937, AND THAT DECREE ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED THAT "THE BONDS OF MATRIMONY HERETOFORE EXISTING BETWEEN THE COMPLAINANT AND DEFENDANT BE AND THE SAME ARE HEREBY DISSOLVED, AND THE SAID ANNA M. GORE IS FOREVER DIVORCED FROM THE SAID THOMAS LEE GORE.' THIS DECREE RENDERED IN A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION WITHOUT QUALIFICATION OR CONDITION ABSOLUTELY SEVERED THE BONDS OF MATRIMONY BETWEEN THE PARTIES ON FEBRUARY 11, 1937, AND FROM THAT DATE THE FORMER WIFE OF LIEUTENANT COLONEL GORE CEASED TO BE HIS LAWFUL WIFE.

SECTION 7425, CODE OF ALABAMA, 1923, PROVIDES:

WHEN A DECREE HAS BEEN RENDERED GRANTING A DIVORCE IN THIS STATE, THE COURT SHALL DECREE THAT NEITHER PARTY SHALL AGAIN MARRY EXCEPT TO EACH OTHER UNTIL SIXTY DAYS AFTER DECREE RENDERED, AND THAT IF AN APPEAL IS TAKEN WITHIN SIXTY DAYS, NEITHER PARTY SHALL AGAIN MARRY EXCEPT TO EACH OTHER DURING THE PENDENCY OF SAID APPEAL.

IF THE DECREE DID NOT SEVER THE BONDS OF MATRIMONY FROM THE DATE THEREOF, THE RIGHT TO MARRY AGAIN "TO EACH OTHER" AS USED IN SECTION 7425 OF THE CODE IS MEANINGLESS FOR IF THEY REMAINED HUSBAND AND WIFE A SECOND MARRIAGE TO EACH OTHER WOULD NOT BE INVOLVED.

THE ACTION OF THE AUDIT DIVISION IN WITHHOLDING CREDIT IN THE ACCOUNTS OF THE DISBURSING OFFICER FOR THE INCREASED SUBSISTENCE ALLOWANCE PAID LIEUTENANT COLONEL GORE IS SUSTAINED.