This opinion will be unpublished and
may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (2004).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In re the Marriage of:
Mari J. Dewall, n/k/a Mari J. Fredrickson, petitioner,
Filed October 25, 2005
Washington County District Court
File No. F6-93-103917
Anne M. Honsa, Honsa & Michales, P.A., 5500 Wayzata Boulevard, Suite 1075, Minneapolis, MN 55416 (for respondent)
Robert J. Lawton, 1100 West Seventh Street, St. Paul, MN 55102 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Minge, Presiding Judge; Kalitowski, Judge; and Shumaker, Judge.
U N P U B L I S H E D O P I N I O N
On appeal in this child-support dispute, appellant-father argues that the district court (1) overstated appellant’s income for support purposes by failing to reduce it for support paid for a subsequent child and by understating his medical insurance deduction; (2) failed to adequately consider that appellant’s income, monthly expenses, support obligation, and debt obligations leave him with a monthly deficit; and (3) failed to make findings of fact to adequately support what is functionally an upward deviation from the support guidelines. We affirm.
D E C I S I O N
district court has wide discretion in considering motions to modify child
support, and a district court’s order on modification will be reversed only if
it is against logic and the facts on record. Putz v.
Putz, 645 N.W.2d 343, 347 (
Appellant challenges the district court’s denial of his motion to decrease child support payable for L.D., his 13-year-old son from his marriage to respondent. A child support order may be modified if the moving party shows a substantial change in circumstances making the existing support order unreasonable and unfair. Minn. Stat. § 518.64, subd. 2(a) (2004). If the application of the child support guidelines results in a calculation of support that is at least 20% and $50 per month higher or lower than the current support obligation, the terms of the current support order shall be rebuttably presumed unreasonable and unfair. Minn. Stat. § 518.64, subd. 2(b)(1).
The district court rejected appellant’s argument that his net monthly income for calculating child support should be reduced by the amount of child support he pays for his four-year-old child from a later marriage. The court stated that it had “previously dealt with this exact same issue” in its order granting respondent’s motion to increase child support five months earlier. In that order, the district court concluded that guidelines support would be determined with reference to the oldest child first, and any statutory “reduction in . . . child support obligation would come in the second [d]issolution with the second born child.”
Collateral estoppel “bars the
relitigation of issues which are both identical to those issues already
litigated by the parties in a prior action and necessary and essential to the
resulting judgment.” Clapper v. Budget Oil Co., 437 N.W.2d
722, 725 (Minn. App. 1989), review denied
(Minn. June 9, 1989). Collateral
estoppel present a mixed question of law and fact subject to de novo
review. Falgren v. State, Bd. of Teaching, 545 N.W.2d 901, 905 (
The district court, in the parties’ litigation of respondent’s earlier motion for modification, considered and rejected appellant’s argument that his net monthly income should be reduced by the amount he paid for support of his younger child and it is undisputed that this ruling was necessary to the disposition of respondent’s earlier motion. Therefore, this determination has a preclusive effect, and appellant may not relitigate that issue.
Moreover, even if review were not
barred by the previous adjudication, the district court did not err in its
statement of the law. The calculation of
a guidelines child-support obligation is determined with reference to net
monthly income, which includes a deduction for a support order “that is
[c]urrently [b]eing [p]aid.” Minn.
Stat. § 518.551, subd. 5(b) (2004). But
a guidelines support calculation does not factor in the needs of subsequent
children. Id., subd. 5f (2004). “The
fact that an obligor had additional children after the entry of a child support
order is not grounds for a modification to decrease the amount of support
Appellant also challenges the
district court’s net-monthly-income calculation as based on incorrect findings
of his income and medical-expense deductions.
A district court’s findings on net income for child-support purposes
will be affirmed on appeal if they have a reasonable basis in fact and are not
clearly erroneous. State ex rel. Rimolde v. Tinker, 601 N.W.2d 468, 470 (
The child support magistrate (CSM) found appellant’s net monthly income from his teaching and coaching duties to be $3,963, based on his gross yearly income of $76,500 as reported on a Minnesota Department of Economic Security wage matching report for the 12-month period ending March 31, 2004. Appellant argues instead for an average net monthly income of $3,436.11, based on the sum of his monthly income paid over 20 paychecks per year and dividing that sum by 12, with a deduction for child-support paid. We disagree. Appellant’s exhibit reflects that he incorrectly “double counted” a child-support deduction from his gross biweekly paycheck by deducting the amount of child support he was already paying for L.D., the child covered by the order in this proceeding.
We also reject appellant’s argument
that the CSM, affirmed by the district court, deducted an incorrect amount for
his medical-insurance premiums. See
Appellant argues that the district
court abused its discretion by applying the child-support guidelines without
regard to his total financial circumstances because application of the current
order leaves him with a monthly deficit after he has paid his monthly expenses
and support for two children. Because
his argument is predicated on the hardship of two support obligations, we conclude
the district court did not abuse its discretion. The district court was not required to consider the support
paid to appellant’s second child as a factor in determining his support
obligation to L.D. See Hayes v. Hayes, 473 N.W.2d 364, 365-66 (
The district court, in the first modification proceeding, considered that appellant had a subsequent child. See Minn. Stat. § 518.551, subd. 5f (2004) (stating that “the fact that an obligor has subsequent children shall be considered in response to a request by an obligee for a modification to increase child support”). But because the district court did not deviate from the guidelines in that proceeding, the court was not required to make further findings to consider the needs of that child. See id. (stating requirements of factual findings if court deviates from guidelines).
Appellant argues for the first time on appeal that the district court erred by failing to make sufficient findings supporting its order, which deviated upward from the child-support guidelines. See Minn. Stat. § 518.551, subd. 5(i) (2004) (stating that deviation from guidelines must be supported by findings on, among other factors, earnings and income of parties). Because this argument was not made to the district court on appellant’s motion for review, it is not properly before us. See Thiele v. Stich, 425 N.W.2d 580, 582 (Minn. 1988) (stating that appellate court generally does not consider issues not raised below).
Moreover, the CSM made findings on
appellant’s and respondent’s income and expenses, and the district court found
that the CSM’s calculations were correct.
Appellant did not present evidence on other statutory factors before the
district court. See Eisenschenk v. Eisenschenk, 668 N.W.2d 235, 243 (
And finally, we note that the
district court expressly noted, but did not include in its support calculation,
additional income from appellant’s sideline business selling sporting
goods. These earnings qualified as
income for support purposes. See Minn. Stat. § 518.551, subd. 5(c)(1)
(2004) (stating that court shall take into account all “earnings, income, and
resources” of parties in setting support); Minn. Stat. § 518.54, subd. 6 (2004)
(defining income as “any form of periodic payment” including but not limited to
wages and salaries); Erler v. Erler,
390 N.W.2d 316, 320 (
We conclude that the district court did not clearly err in calculating support and did not abuse its discretion in denying appellant’s motion for modification.