may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
In Re the Marriage of:
Steven G. Therneau, petitioner,
Mary R. Therneau,
Filed March 18, 1997
Itasca County District Court
File No. F1841539
Ellen E. Tholen, 525 East Itasca Street, Grand Rapids, MN 55744 (for Respondent)
Andy Borland, Sellman Law Offices, 1907 Third Avenue East, Suite 1, P.O. Box 37, Hibbing, MN 55746 (for Appellant)
Considered and decided by Kalitowski, Presiding Judge, Willis, Judge, and Mansur, Judge.
The administrative law judge reduced child support based on the emancipation of one of the parties' children. Appellant claims that the ALJ's modification is based on an erroneous calculation of respondent's net income. We affirm.
D E C I S I O N
An appeal from an administrative hearing under chapter 518 is treated the same as an appeal from the district court; the same standards of review apply. Lee v. Lee, 459 N.W.2d 365, 368-69 (Minn. App. 1990), review denied (Minn. Oct. 18, 1990); Minn. Stat. § 518.5511, subd. 4(h) (1996). The standard of review of a support modification is abuse of discretion. Moylan v. Moylan, 384 N.W.2d 859, 864 (Minn. 1986). The ALJ's determination of net income for the purpose of calculating child support will be affirmed if it has a reasonable basis in fact. See Strauch v. Strauch, 401 N.W.2d 444, 448 (Minn. App. 1987) (same standard that applies to district court).
Appellant erroneously argues that the ALJ excluded respondent's overtime from the net income calculation. The ALJ's net income finding is the average of respondent's eleven 1996 paychecks received in evidence at the time of the modification hearing. The overtime that was reflected in those paychecks was included in the net income calculation. Accordingly, the ALJ's calculation has a reasonable basis in fact.
Appellant claims that the ALJ erred by deducting respondent's 401K contribution. Reasonable pension contributions are a deduction when calculating net income. Minn. Stat. § 518.551, subd. 5(b) (1996). Deductions can include voluntary contributions if they are reasonable. Cf. Mueller v. Mueller, 419 N.W.2d 845, 847 (Minn. App. 1988) (remanded IRA contribution for finding on reasonableness of deduction). The ALJ deducted respondent's 9% 401K contribution to determine net income but did not explicitly find that the contribution was reasonable. The record contains evidence that the average 401K contribution of employees at respondent's place of work was 8.6% of gross income. This evidence can support a finding of reasonableness and provides a basis in fact for the ALJ's determination of net income. See Strauch, 401 N.W.2d at 448. Under these circumstances, we choose not to remand where remand would only result in a finding consistent with what is already contained in the record.
[ ]* Retired judge of the district court, serving as judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.