This opinion will be unpublished and

may not be cited except as provided by

Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2000).






In re:  Cathy Jean Goodmanson, n/k/a Cathy Jean Bosch,

Richard James Goodmanson,


County of Becker, Intervenor,


Filed August 20, 2002


Minge, Judge


Becker County District Court

File No. F0981277



Richard J. Goodmanson, 17752 427th Avenue, Frazee, MN 56544 (pro se respondent)


Joseph Evans, Becker County Attorney, James W. Donehower, Assistant Becker County Attorney, P.O. Box 476, Detroit Lakes, MN 56502-0476 (for appellant)


            Considered and decided by Minge, Presiding Judge, Schumacher, Judge, and Peterson, Judge.


U N P U B L I S H E D  O P I N I O N


MINGE, Judge


            On appeal in this child support modification proceeding, appellant county argues that the child support magistrate incorrectly determined respondent father’s net monthly income.  Because the findings are incomplete and the record is unclear whether certain expenses alleged by respondent are proper deductions from his gross monthly income, we remand for additional findings and, if necessary, additional proceedings. 



            Respondent Richard Goodmanson and Cathy Bosch are the parents of 17-year-old D.G. and 19-year-old Richard Goodmanson, Jr.  D.G. lives with his mother and Richard Jr. lives with respondent.  In October 1999, appellant-intervenor Becker County moved to increase respondent’s child support for D.G., and in December 1999, the child support magistrate (CSM) ordered respondent to pay $342 per month.  Respondent’s child support obligation subsequently increased to $364 per month based on a cost-of-living adjustment. 

            In June 2001, appellant moved to increase respondent’s child support obligation to $550 per month, based on Richard Jr.’s emancipation and respondent’s increased income.  On August 15, the CSM held a hearing, and on September 10, the CSM issued its modification order.  The CSM determined that mother could contribute $92 to D.G.’s medical insurance and ordered that she pay 45% of any unreimbursed medical expenses.  The CSM also determined that respondent earned $1,545 in net monthly income, after deducting (a) $926 for taxes; (b) $178 for retirement; (c) $28 for union dues; and (d) $355 for medical insurance, which covered D.G.  Using the statutory guidelines, the CSM determined that respondent’s monthly support obligation was $294.

On September 20, appellant filed a petition for review.  On December 13, the CSM amended its findings to reflect mother’s correct net monthly income and ordered respondent 100% responsible for unreimbursed medical expenses.  The CSM reiterated, however, that respondent’s net monthly income was $1,545.



We review a child support magistrate’s decision by the same standards as we review a district court’s decision.  Brazinsky v. Brazinsky, 610 N.W.2d 707, 710 (Minn. App. 2000).  A district court has broad discretion to provide for child support.  Rutten v. Rutten, 347 N.W.2d 47, 50 (Minn. 1984).  The court’s findings on net income for purposes of child support will be affirmed on appeal if those findings have a reasonable basis in fact and are not clearly erroneous.  State ex rel. Rimolde v. Tinker, 601 N.W.2d 468, 470 (Minn. App. 1999).  An appellate court will only reverse a child support modification order if convinced that the lower court reached a clearly erroneous conclusion against logic and the facts on record.  Gully v. Gully, 599 N.W.2d 814, 820 (Minn. 1999). 

            The terms of a child support order may be modified upon a showing of, among other things, (1) substantial increased or decreased earnings of a party, or (2) substantial increased or decreased needs of a party.  Minn. Stat. § 518.64, subd. 2(a) (2000).  The court shall derive a specific dollar amount for child support by multiplying the obligor’s net monthly income by a percentage provided in the statutory guidelines.  Minn. Stat.      § 518.551, subd. 5(b) (2000).  Net monthly income means total monthly income less (1) federal income tax; (2) state income tax; (3) social security deductions; (4) reasonable pension deductions; (5) union dues; (6) dependent health care coverage; (7) individual hospitalization coverage; and (8) current child support or maintenance.  Id. 

            Appellant argues that no evidence supports the CSM’s determination that respondent’s net monthly income was $1,545.  Respondent’s June 2001 pay stub indicates a net salary of $2,201.88, his May 2001 pay stub indicates a net salary of $2,110.15, and his April 2001 pay stub indicates a net salary of $2,152.55.  

Although the CSM did not explain why he found respondent’s net monthly income to be $1,545, the CSM must have reached this figure by subtracting two additional deductions from respondent’s largest net monthly pay of $2,200.  First, in his response to appellant’s motion to increase child support, respondent listed $408 as “Child Support” under the heading “Financial obligation.”  It is unclear if this meant child support for Richard Jr., who respondent testified required continuing financial support through posthigh school education, or for a different child.  Second, respondent asked the CSM to consider several expenses, including a projected medical insurance increase of $247.69.  Thus, $2,200 less $408 and less $247 equals $1,545. 

The record is unclear whether section 518.551, subdivision 5, permits these two deductions.  Respondent may not deduct from his net monthly income the $408 child support obligation for that emancipated son unless he is attending secondary school.  See Minn. Stat. § 518.54, subd. 2 (2000) (stating that a “child” means under 18, under 20 and still in secondary school, or incapable of self-support because of mental or physical condition).  And it is unclear whether respondent’s monthly medical premiums have actually increased by $247.69 because respondent stated that this increase was merely anticipated.  On remand, the CSM is directed to determine respondent’s net monthly income and child support obligation without regard to support paid to adult children and without considering proposed but not yet effective medical expenses.[1]  Of course, once medical insurance costs increase, an adjustment would be appropriate.


[1]We also point out that overtime pay, if regular and substantial and if earned during the period before the existing support order, may be considered in determining net monthly income for child support purposes.  Minn. Stat. § 518.64, subd. 2(c)(2) (2000).  See Johnson v. Johnson, 533 N.W.2d 859, 863-64 (Minn. App. 1995) (stating that overtime pay should be excluded only if certain statutory factors are met); Strauch v. Strauch, 401 N.W.2d 444, 448 (Minn. App. 1987) (including overtime pay in net income calculation when it has been a regular, steady source of income).