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GAO was requested to review the Claims Group's denial of an Army officer's claim for a family separation allowance for a period beyond the date of his divorce. The officer had been ordered to serve overseas without the presence of his family, which entitled him to a family separation allowance. However, the Army had estopped the entitlement upon learning that the officer had divorced his wife and that she had retained physical custody of their children. The Claims Group disallowed the officer's claim for the entitlement, stating that the entitlement is not authorized if the separation is not caused by military orders. GAO concurred, noting that the allowance was precluded by the voluntary separation and that the officer's children were no longer his legal dependents. Accordingly, the prior decision was sustained.


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