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Roger, Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 31766
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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My family and I moved to CA and after a year my wife filed

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My family and I moved to CA and after a year my wife filed for divorced in Dec 2007. As part of my relocation package, I received 2 payments in 2008 and 2009 for relocation allowance post the date of seperation (Dec 2007). I'm not sure how relo allowances are treated in Family Law (e.g. allownces to be calculated as child support/alimony or not a part of the community estate. During my first MSC hearing in March 2008, I explained all sources of my income to the judge and he only ruled on base salary and bonuses for child support, alimony, and family maintenence. He did not rule on the moving relo allowances in the temporaty orders. As I prep for trial, I believe my ex will want a % of the temp moving allowances. Do you know how this type of situation has beed treated in CA Family Law (case law)? Appreciate any fact based info or personal experiences regarding this issue.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Roger replied 7 years ago.
In my experience, relocation costs would not be considered as income for child support. This fee is for your expenses in moving, not a bonus or income.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Thx. A bit more context. The relocation allowance was also for cost of living increase per say due to moving from the midwest to the LA. Along with your experience has there been any CA case law that specifically deals with this issue?
Expert:  Roger replied 7 years ago.

I cannot find any case law that specifically talks about relocation costs in terms of child support. I'm sure this has occurred before, but I just don't see a reported case.


Again, because this money is earmarked as relocation fees, I don't think a court will include it as income.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Again, thanks. Last question before I pay for your services. The relocation "allowances" were circa $225k (pre-tax) paid out over a 3 year period and noted as relo allowance on my W2's for costs of living increases. Although there may not be any case law on this issue, have you heard of anyone within your peer group that may have come across this situation?


I believe my ex and her attorney will make the case to secure a portion of the funds although 2/3 of the allowance was issued post date of seperation.


Appreciate your feedback.

Expert:  Roger replied 7 years ago.
I have dealt with relocation costs, which are generally for moving expenses, not extra pay for the cost of living. This is usually $5000-$15000 for rental vans, storage units, etc.

It sounds more like you got a raise because of the cost of living in your new location. This makes the issue a much closer call. However, you must stick to your guns and maintain that this money is for relocation only.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I guess I was expecting more legal guidance than "just stick to your guns and maintain...". Do you have any knowledge how relo allowances for costs of living increases have be ruled in the CA? The more specific, the better.
Expert:  Roger replied 7 years ago.
Well, you call this relocation costs, but it is really a raise for cost
of living.

Relocation costs are usually considered moving expenses. This is a close call. You can't rake
a position other than it is not income for the purposes of child support calculation.
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