may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Julie A. Sharits, n/k/a Julie A. Pirron, petitioner,
Timothy R. Sharits,
File No. F086122
Stephen M. Goldfarb, Goldfarb & Associates, P.A., 4600 West 29th Street, Minneapolis, MN 55416-4660 (for appellant)
Amy Levine, Judith M. Rush, Levine & Rush, P.L.L.P., 2124 Dupont Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55405-2714 (for appellant)
Julie A. Pirron, 141 North Crystal Street, Box 952, Lake Crystal, MN 56055 (pro se respondent)
Michael K. Riley, Nicollet County Attorney, Todd W. Westphal, Michelle M. Zehnder, Assistant County Attorneys, 424 South Minnesota Avenue, St. Peter, MN 56082 (for Nicollet County)
Considered and decided by Amundson, Presiding Judge, Short, Judge, and Harten, Judge.
On appeal from an order increasing a child support obligation to the children of his first marriage, Timothy R. Sharits argues the administrative law judge erred by failing to factor into the requisite support calculations Sharits's child support obligation to his after-born daughter.
Sharits concedes the ALJ had a proper basis upon which to increase his prior child support obligation. However, he argues the support obligation to his after-born daughter should have been deducted from his gross income for the purpose of calculating guidelines support for his sons. When establishing or modifying child support, courts must apply the statutory child support guidelines. See Minn. Stat. § 518.551, subd. 5(b) (1996) (setting forth guidelines); Buntje v. Buntje, 511 N.W.2d 479, 481 (Minn. App. 1994) (applying child support guidelines in support modification case). Minn. Stat. § 518.551, subd. 5(a), enumerates the deductions allowable from the obligor's gross income in calculating the obligor's net income, and includes as a permissible deduction a child support or maintenance order currently being paid. However, application of the child support deduction is limited to those cases determining child support for subsequent children when the obligor has a child support obligation in place for prior children. See Erickson v. Erickson, 385 N.W.2d 301, 304 (Minn. 1986) (holding "[c]hildren by a subsequent marriage, while relevant to a trial court's decision, are not to be factored into the child support guidelines tables in Minn. Stat. § 518.551 * * *"); cited in Bock v. Bock, 506 N.W.2d 321, 324 (Minn. App. 1993); see also Hayes v. Hayes, 473 N.W.2d 364, 366 (Minn. App. 1991) (concluding statute favors needs of obligor's earliest support obligation, not of later obligation that precedes modification of first duty).
The record demonstrates: (1) the ALJ referred to Sharits's obligation to the subsequent daughter in the order and memorandum, but concluded the payment should not be factored into the guidelines calculation; (2) in addition to the allowable tax deductions, the ALJ subtracted from Sharits's gross income the payments Sharits was making on behalf of all three of his children in the form of monthly pension and insurance premiums; (3) as compared to the after-born daughter's child support payment of $400 per month, Sharits's original child support obligation to his sons totalled $310 per month, equalling only $155 per son; (4) the ALJ determined Sharits had an average net monthly income of $2,501.80; and (5) the ALJ increased the prior child support obligation from $310 to $750 per month in accordance with the guidelines. These facts demonstrate the ALJ considered the needs of the subsequent daughter while properly refusing to factor into the guidelines calculation the daughter's support obligation. Under these circumstances, the ALJ did not abuse his discretion in increasing the prior child support obligation from $310 to $750 per month.