Judgment No. 927
1. THE IMPUGNED DECISION IS QUASHED.
2. THE ORGANIZATION SHALL PAY THE COMPLAINANT THE FAMILY ALLOWANCE AND THE DEDUCTED PORTION OF THE NON-RESIDENT ALLOWANCE FOR THE PERIOD FROM 1 NOVEMBER 1985 TO 3 JULY 1986, PLUS INTEREST TO BE RECKONED AT 10 PER CENT A YEAR.
Before the complainant's divorce during a period of trial separation, the organization discontinued payment of her family allowance and lowered the rate of her non-resident allowance. The Tribunal holds that "the temporary separation of the spouses prior to the decree of divorce, though authorised by a court order, was neither a 'legal' separation nor a 'similar legal situation' within the meaning of R IV 1.13 [of the Staff Rules and Regulations]. The trial separation is a preliminary to divorce required by law. It is limited in time and revocable. It has no effect on the marital status of the spouses, who may use it as they will. It is not in the same category as legal separation, which is a permanent solution." Since the organization made a mistake of law, the Director-General's decision must be set aside.
Organization rules reference: ARTICLE R IV 1.13 OF CERN STAFF RULES
complaint allowed; marital status; decision quashed; domestic law; interpretation; allowance; family allowance; non-resident allowance; flaw; consequence