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Can she calculate my perdium with my hourly rate to figure child support and alimony?

Fresno, CA |

Hi there, my question for you is, for divorce in california. My ex-wife is trying to take me for everything. I gave her EVERYTHING from the house but my pool table and tv. I took all the debt. Now she wants $2,200.00 a month on child support and alimony. We have 2 kids. So here is my tricky question. On paper before taxes are taken out, a month roughly it shows $5315.00, but that is added my perdium for being out of town and gas included. Hourly I make $4,200.00 a month before taxes are taken out. Can she calculate my perdium as with my hourly to figure out how much i pay her a month?? Or can she only calculate my hourly rate?? My perdium is for my hotel for the week. I dont have a problem paying for child support because i want to support my kids, but i cant afford $2,200.00 a month.

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Attorney answers 3


This is somewhat of a tricky question. The judge can count the per diem as income for support purposes. The issue as to whether the court is likely to do this depends on whether you have your own living expenses to pay (such as rent) on your home base, if you have one, or are living in hotel rooms all of the time. . If you live in hotel rooms all of the time, and your employer pays all of your hotel expenses, then these payments are probably income for support purposes. If you don't live in hotel rooms all of the time, and have home base expenses to pay, and the per diem is not income for income tax purposes, then the judge should not order that the per diem is income because it does not reduce your living expenses. See, for example, Stewart v. Gomez (1996) 47 Cal. App. 4th 1748,


The court does have the power to consider necessary job related expenses in determining your true income.

Walters & Moshrefi, Attorneys at Law
5446 N. Palm Ave. Ste. 101
Fresno, CA


Well, the simple answer is that your per diem is income and the expenses you must pay from it are expenses. If the per diem actually totals what you have to expend on your business travel, then it should all wash out in the end. It would be an error not to include work related expenses when calculating your support. Have you considered at least consulting with an attorney to help you with these “tricky” questions?

Best of luck to you.

This response is intended to be a general statement of law, should not be relied upon as legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship.