In Utah, people get paid in all sorts of interesting ways.

Sometimes they get money. Sometimes they get benefits. Sometimes they get stuff.

And sometimes they get paid per diem.

Per diem, technically, is supposed to reimburse an employee for travel expenses, e.g.: food, hotels, gas, etc.

But, often, instead of spending money on per diem, an employee will “go cheap” and pocket the money.

So, while per diem is supposed to be reimbursement, it’s often a source of income.

Per diem and Utah divorce

When you get paid per diem and you get divorced in Utah, do you count it as income when figuring out child support and alimony?

The answer is: probably, but not always.

There’s a 2006 Utah Court of Appeals case that says per diem (and mileage) can be included as income when calculating child support and alimony.

Because of this case, our experience has been that Utah commissioners and judges almost always consider per diem to be income.

I say almost always because there is one way of getting around this: show that per diem was actually reimbursement for travel expenses.

If you can prove you didn’t go cheap and pocket per diem — instead, it was all used to pay travel expenses — , then the court may not include it as income, because it’s not income, because it’s actually expense reimbursement.

What do I mean by prove?

I mean you get all those travel expense receipts together (you probably turned them in to your company forever ago) and give them to the court to show you didn’t pocket your per diem.

So, go get those receipts.

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