B-91763, APRIL 28, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 435

B-91763: Apr 28, 1950

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QUARTERS - BASIC ALLOWANCE - DEPENDENT ADOPTED MINOR CHILD THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT AN OFFICER WITH DEPENDENTS OF THE CLASSES NAMED IN SECTION 102 (G) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 (LAWFUL WIFE. PAYMENT OF A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS TO A NAVAL OFFICER WHOSE ADOPTED MINOR CHILD IS IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON HIM MAY BE MADE UNDER SECTION 302 OF THE ACT. EVEN THOUGH THE OFFICER'S MARRIAGE MAY NOT HAVE BEEN FINALLY DISSOLVED. AMONG THE ENCLOSURES SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER ARE PHOTOSTATIC COPIES OF AN " ORDER FOR ADOPTION" DATED APRIL 28. ALSO ACCOMPANYING YOUR LETTER ARE A CERTIFICATE AND AFFIDAVIT EXECUTED BY THE OFFICER IN WHICH IT IS STATED. THAT THE CHILD WILL BE 19 YEARS OF AGE AT ITS NEXT BIRTHDAY.

B-91763, APRIL 28, 1950, 29 COMP. GEN. 435

QUARTERS - BASIC ALLOWANCE - DEPENDENT ADOPTED MINOR CHILD THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT AN OFFICER WITH DEPENDENTS OF THE CLASSES NAMED IN SECTION 102 (G) OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949 (LAWFUL WIFE, UNMARRIED LEGITIMATE CHILDREN UNDER 21 YEARS OF AGE) MUST CLAIM THE INCREASED ALLOWANCES ON ACCOUNT OF HIS DEPENDENT OF THE CLASS NAMED FIRST THEREIN (WIFE), AND, THEREFORE, PAYMENT OF A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS TO A NAVAL OFFICER WHOSE ADOPTED MINOR CHILD IS IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON HIM MAY BE MADE UNDER SECTION 302 OF THE ACT, EVEN THOUGH THE OFFICER'S MARRIAGE MAY NOT HAVE BEEN FINALLY DISSOLVED.

ASSISTANT COMPTROLLER GENERAL YATES TO THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY, APRIL 28, 1950:

THERE HAS BEEN CONSIDERED YOUR LETTER OF JANUARY 5, 1950, WITH WHICH YOU TRANSMITTED A LETTER DATED NOVEMBER 25, 1949, FROM THE OFFICER-IN 1CHARGE, OFFICERS' ACCOUNTS DIVISION, BUREAU OF SUPPLIES AND ACCOUNTS, DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, WASHINGTON 25, D.C., WITH ENCLOSURES, REQUESTING A DECISION RELATIVE TO THE RIGHT OF LIEUTENANT COMMANDER CHARLES F. VANCE, 76538, USN, TO A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS AS FOR AN OFFICER WITH A DEPENDENT (ADOPTED MINOR CHILD) FROM NOVEMBER 4, 1949, UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES SET FORTH IN THE ENCLOSURES.

AMONG THE ENCLOSURES SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER ARE PHOTOSTATIC COPIES OF AN " ORDER FOR ADOPTION" DATED APRIL 28, 1936, ENTERED IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES, IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION OF GAYLORD LEE JONES BY CHARLES F. VANCE AND MELVA M. VANCE, AND A " JUDGMENT FOR ABSOLUTE DIVORCE" DATED NOVEMBER 4, 1949, ENTERED IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, IN THE CASE OF CHARLES FORDYCE VANCE, PLAINTIFF V. MELVA MAE VANCE, DEFENDANT, GRANTING THE PLAINTIFF AN ABSOLUTE DIVORCE FROM THE DEFENDANT, AWARDING THE CUSTODY OF GAYLORD LEE VANCE TO THE PLAINTIFF, AND PROVIDING THAT THE JUDGMENT "SHALL NOT BE EFFECTIVE TO DISSOLVE THE MARRIAGE UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF THE TIME ALLOWED FOR TAKING AN APPEAL OR UNTIL THE FINAL DISPOSITION OF ANY APPEAL TAKEN, OR IN ANY EVENT UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF SIX MONTHS FROM THE DATE HEREOF.'

ALSO ACCOMPANYING YOUR LETTER ARE A CERTIFICATE AND AFFIDAVIT EXECUTED BY THE OFFICER IN WHICH IT IS STATED, AMONG OTHER THINGS, THAT THE CHILD WILL BE 19 YEARS OF AGE AT ITS NEXT BIRTHDAY; THAT THE CHILD IS ATTENDING A PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL AT LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA; THAT THE CHILD RESIDES WITH A PRIVATE FAMILY NOT RELATED TO HIM AND PAYS FOR HIS ROOM AND BOARD OUT OF FUNDS PROVIDED BY THE OFFICER; AND THAT THE OFFICER NECESSARILY CONTRIBUTES FROM HIS OWN PERSONAL FUNDS THE SUM OF $100 EACH MONTH, DIRECTLY TO THE CHILD, FOR HIS CARE, MAINTENANCE, SUPPORT, AND EDUCATION.

SECTION 302 OF THE CAREER COMPENSATION ACT OF 1949, PUBLIC LAW 351, APPROVED OCTOBER 12, 1949, 63 STAT. 812, AUTHORIZES PAYMENT OF A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS ON ACCOUNT OF DEPENDENTS UNDER THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND CONDITIONS THEREIN SET FORTH, AND SECTION 102 (G) OF THE SAID ACT, 63 STAT. 804, DEFINES THE TERM "DEPENDENT," INSOFAR AS HEREIN MATERIAL, AS FOLLOWS:

THE TERM "DEPENDENT" SHALL INCLUDE AT ALL TIMES AND IN ALL PLACES THE LAWFUL WIFE AND UNMARRIED LEGITIMATE CHILDREN, UNDER TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE, OF ANY MEMBER OF THE UNIFORMED SERVICES, * * * PROVIDED, THAT THE TERM "CHILDREN" SHALL BE HELD TO INCLUDE STEPCHILDREN AND ADOPTED CHILDREN WHEN SUCH STEPCHILDREN OR ADOPTED CHILDREN ARE IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON SUCH MEMBER: * * *

WHILE IT DOES NOT APPEAR THAT THE OFFICER'S MARRIAGE WAS FINALLY DISSOLVED ON NOVEMBER 4, 1949, THE DATE OF THE AFORESAID JUDGMENT FOR ABSOLUTE DIVORCE, AND WHILE HE MAY HAVE CONTINUED TO HAVE A ,LAWFUL WIFE" WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE STATUTE UNTIL THE EXPIRATION OF THE TIME SPECIFIED IN THE SAID JUDGMENT, IT HAS BEEN HELD IN CASES INVOLVING A PRIOR SIMILAR STATUTE AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF INCREASED ALLOWANCES ON ACCOUNT OF DEPENDENTS THAT THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT THAT AN OFFICER WITH DEPENDENTS OF THE SEVERAL CLASSES NAMED IN SUCH STATUTE MUST CLAIM THE ALLOWANCES ON ACCOUNT OF HIS DEPENDENT OF THE CLASS NAMED FIRST THEREIN. HENCE, NO REASON IS PERCEIVED WHY, IF THE ADOPTED MINOR CHILD HERE INVOLVED IS IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON THE OFFICER, PAYMENT OF A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS SHOULD NOT BE MADE TO HIM AS FOR AN OFFICER WITH A DEPENDENT (ADOPTED MINOR CHILD). SEE, GENERALLY, 23 COMP. GEN. 404.

IT APPEARS FROM THE EVIDENCE SUBMITTED THAT THE OFFICER HAS AN ADOPTED MINOR CHILD, AND THAT THE SAID CHILD IS IN FACT DEPENDENT UPON THE OFFICER. ACCORDINGLY, PAYMENT OF A BASIC ALLOWANCE FOR QUARTERS TO COMMANDER VANCE AS FOR AN OFFICER WITH A DEPENDENT (ADOPTED MINOR CHILD) WILL BE PASSED TO CREDIT, PROVIDED THE ALLOWANCE IS OTHERWISE PROPERLY PAYABLE, FOR NOVEMBER 4, 1949, AND SO LONG THEREAFTER AS THERE IS NO MATERIAL CHANGE IN THE DEPENDENCY STATUS OF THE SAID CHILD.

THE OFFICER'S CERTIFICATE ON NAV. S. AND A. FORM 531, SHOWING THE CHILD'S NAME AND OTHER INFORMATION IS RETURNED HEREWITH, A COPY THEREOF HAVING BEEN MADE FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS OFFICE. THE OTHER PAPERS SUBMITTED WITH YOUR LETTER ARE BEING RETAINED IN THIS OFFICE.

THIS DECISION, OR A COPY THEREOF, SHOULD BE INCLUDED IN THE ACCOUNT WHEREIN CREDIT FOR PAYMENTS HEREUNDER IS FIRST CLAIMED.

IN ANY FUTURE REQUESTS FOR AN ADVANCE DECISION IN CASES OF THIS NATURE, THE NAV. S. AND A. FORM 531 SHOULD BE EXECUTED AND SUBMITTED TO THIS OFFICE IN DUPLICATE.