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:
Jean A. Einfeldt, petitioner,
John D. Einfeldt,
Filed June 24, 1997
Ramsey County District Court
File No. DMF2943374
Carl E. Norberg, 700 St. Paul Building, 6 West Fifth Street, St. Paul, MN 55102 (for respondent)
Thomas R. Hughes, Hughes & Costello, 1230 Landmark Towers, 345 St. Peter Street, St. Paul, MN 55102 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Short, Presiding Judge, Klaphake, Judge, and Schultz, Judge.[*]
On appeal from a 1996 judgment and decree of dissolution, John D. Einfeldt argues the trial court abused its discretion in imposing a retroactive child support obligation and in calculating his income for the determination of guidelines child support. We affirm.
D E C I S I O N
A trial court has broad discretion in deciding matters of child support, and we will uphold the trial court's decision absent an abuse of that discretion. Rutten v. Rutten, 347 N.W.2d 47, 50 (Minn. 1984). This court must not set aside a trial court's factual findings unless clearly erroneous. Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.01; see Rouland v. Thorson, 542 N.W.2d 681, 685 (Minn. App. 1996) (upholding trial court's determination of net income if it has reasonable basis in fact).
Einfeldt further argues the trial court abused its discretion by failing to deduct expenses related to his rental property in determining his net income. A trial court may properly consider net income from rental property in calculating a noncustodial parent's child support obligation. See, e.g., Reynolds v. Reynolds, 498 N.W.2d 266, 273 (Minn. App. 1993) (affirming award of child support on basis of gross rental income less mortgage payments, taxes and insurance). However, when an obligor holds a given property primarily for the purpose of sheltering income, a trial court need not permit the deduction of claimed expenses in the determination of net income. See Preussner v. Timmer, 414 N.W.2d 577, 579-80 (Minn. App. 1987) (remanding for determination of whether obligor's claimed deductions were related to property retained for legitimate income-producing purposes).
The trial court permitted deductions for taxes and insurance in determining the net income derived from Einfeldt's rental properties. The court disallowed deductions for depreciation, legal fees, utilities, repair, painting, and certain other expenses, which the court found were "claimed in order to shelter income for tax purposes," but actually related to the maintenance of Einfeldt's own homestead. Cf. id. (permitting depreciation deductions if rental property is not held primarily for the purpose of sheltering income). Given the record and the deferential standard of review, we cannot say the trial court abused its discretion in determining Einfeldt's net income and corresponding guidelines child support.
[ ]* Retired judge of the district court, serving as judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.