may not be cited except as provided by
Minn. Stat. § 480A.08, subd. 3 (1996).
STATE OF MINNESOTA
IN COURT OF APPEALS
Karen Kristine Voegeli, petitioner,
Jerome Thomas Voegeli,
Filed September 9, 1997
Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded
Toussaint, Chief Judge
Hennepin County District Court
File No. 201455
Deborah N. DeWalt, 2605 East Cliff Road, Burnsville, MN 55337 (for respondent)
Virginia K. Ekola, 247 Third Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55415 (for appellant)
Considered and decided by Toussaint, Chief Judge, Huspeni, Judge, and Schultz,[*] Judge.
In this appeal from an amended judgment and decree of dissolution, appellant Jerome T. Voegeli challenges the trial court's determination of respondent Karen K. Voegeli's child support obligation and the amount of spousal maintenance awarded to respondent. Respondent filed a notice of review, arguing that her child support obligation should have been reserved and that the spousal maintenance award is too low. Based on the record we affirm the trial court's findings (1) appellant's net monthly income, (2) the parties' respective reasonable expenses, (3) the pension deduction allotted to respondent, and (4) the requirement that appellant pay the minor child's unreimbursed medical expenses. But, we reverse the child support and maintenance awards because the trial court errored in determining respondent's net income from employment, and we remand for recalculation of child support and maintenance consistent with this opinion. Further, we decline respondent's request to reconsider the special term order denying respondent's motion to dismiss. See In re Estate of Sangren, 504 N.W.2d 786, 788 N.1 (Minn. App. 1993) (request to reconsider special term order is not authorized because it is in the nature of a motion for rehearing).
The trial court has broad discretion to provide for the support of the parties' children, and this court will not reverse the trial court's decision unless it is clearly erroneous. Rutten v. Rutten, 347 N.W.2d 47, 50 (Minn. 1984). A court's determination with respect to child support will be affirmed if it has a reasonable basis in fact. Strauch v. Strauch, 401 N.W.2d 444, 447 (Minn. App. 1987).
An obligor's "net income" for the purpose of calculating child support is defined as total monthly income less federal and state income tax, social security deductions, reasonable pension deductions, union dues, cost of dependent health insurance coverage, cost of individual group health coverage or an amount for actual medical expenses, and a child support or maintenance order that is currently being paid. Minn. Stat. § 518.551, subd. 5(b) (1996).
Appellant argues that the trial court erred in deducting $186.48 from respondent's gross income for a health insurance expense. Both parties agree that respondent does not pay for health insurance, either for herself or for the parties' minor child. Therefore, the trial court erred in allowing such a deduction.
In the original decree, the trial court allowed both parties a pension deduction of six percent of gross income. In the amended judgment, the trial court increased respondent's pension deduction to nine percent because of the disparity in the parties' income. In his brief, appellant argued that the trial court abused its discretion in awarding respondent a higher pension deduction, but at oral argument appellant's counsel indicated that appellant did not object to the nine percent deduction. The trial court did not abuse its discretion in allowing respondent a higher pension deduction because appellant has a substantially higher income.
Appellant argues that the trial court erred in failing to consider his claim that respondent's retirement contributions are paid with pretax dollars. Because this matter could have been raised in an appeal from the original decree, it is outside this court's scope of review on appeal from the amended judgment. See Geckler v. Samuelson, 438 N.W.2d 740, 741 (Minn. App. 1989) (generally, the scope of review on appeal from an amended judgment is limited to issues directly affected by the amended judgment, which were not reviewable on appeal from the original judgment). Moreover, it is improper for this court to consider the matter because there is no evidence in the record to support appellant's claim that respondent's pension contributions are paid with pretax dollars. See Thiele v. Stich, 425 N.W.2d 580, 582-83 (Minn. 1988) (appellate court may not consider matters not produced and received in evidence below).
Appellant also contends that the trial court erred in deducting respondent's tax obligation for the spousal maintenance award from her gross earned income in determining her net earned income available for payment of child support. Because the trial court's authority to make such a deduction is a question of law, we review this issue de novo. See Durfee v. Rod Baxter Imports. Inc., 262 N.W.2d 349, 354 (Minn. 1977) (appellate courts need not defer to trial courts when reviewing questions of law).
This court has held that subtracting contemporaneously ordered maintenance in the process of determining the obligor's net income available for child support is an error in the application of Minn. Stat. § 518.551, subd. 5. Driscoll v. Driscoll, 414 N.W.2d 441, 446 (Minn. App. 1987). Because contemporaneously ordered maintenance payments should not be considered in determining child support, the trial court erred in deducting respondent's tax liability for the maintenance award from her gross earned income in calculating net income available for payment of child support.
Respondent contends that the trial court abused its discretion in failing to reserve her child support obligation because it is undisputed that respondent is unable to meet her reasonable expenses without maintenance. See LaValle v. LaValle, 430 N.W.2d 224, 231 (Minn. App. 1988) (affirming the reservation of a maintenance recipient's child support obligation). In view of our reversal of the child support award on the basis of the trial court's erroneous calculation of respondent's net income, we decline to reach this issue. In determining respondent's child support obligation on remand, the trial court may consider, among other factors, respondent's income and resources. See Minn. Stat. § 518.551, subd. 5(c)(1). Because the child support guidelines are a rebuttable presumption, the trial court must make specific written findings to justify any departure. Id., subd. 5(i).
Finally, appellant challenges a provision in the original decree directing him to pay all of the minor child's uninsured health expenses. Because this issue could have been raised in an appeal from the original judgment, it is outside this court's scope of review in this appeal from the amended judgment. See Geckler, 438 N.W.2d at 741.
The trial court has broad discretion in deciding whether to award maintenance and in determining the duration and amount of maintenance. Erlandson v. Erlandson, 318 N.W.2d 36, 38 (Minn. 1982). The trial court's determination must be affirmed unless the court abused its discretion. Id.
The parties agree that respondent is entitled to an award of permanent maintenance, but they disagree as to the amount. In determining the amount of maintenance, the trial court shall consider all relevant factors, including the financial resources of the party seeking maintenance, the standard of living established during the marriage, and the ability of the spouse from whom maintenance is sought to meet needs while meeting those of the spouse seeking maintenance. Minn. Stat. § 518.552, subd. 2(a), (c), (g) (1996).
Both parties challenge the trial court's findings regarding their respective reasonable expenses. The trial court found the parties had a comfortable standard of living during the marriage, but that the expenses claimed by both parties were inflated. It appears that the parties testified at the dissolution trial regarding their expenses, but neither party obtained a trial transcript.
The party seeking review has the duty to present the appellate court with a record that is sufficient to show the alleged errors in all matters necessary for consideration of the questions presented. Truesdale v. Friedman, 267 Minn. 402, 404, 127 N.W.2d 277, 279 (1964). Because a transcript of the trial was not provided, the parties have not created an adequate record for this court's review of the parties' respective challenges to the trial court's findings regarding living expenses. See Minn. R. Civ. P. 52.02 (trial court's findings of fact shall not be set aside unless clearly erroneous); Duluth Herald & News Tribune v. Plymouth Optical Co., 286 Minn. 495, 498, 176 N.W.2d 552, 555 (1970) (when a trial transcript is not provided, appellate court's review is limited to consideration of whether the trial court's conclusions of law are supported by the findings).
Respondent challenges the trial court's determination of appellant's net income, arguing that considering the tax deduction for an $800 per month maintenance obligation, appellant's net monthly income is $3,487 not the $3,192.70 as found by the trial court. While acknowledging the range of possible interpretations, the trial court rejected respondent's proposed finding, stating that in making its finding the court had considered the deductibility of appellant's spousal maintenance obligation, a six percent pension contribution, and use of the tax computation method for 1996. Respondent has not established that the trial court's finding is clearly erroneous. See Hubbard v. United Press Int'l. Inc. 330 N.W.2d 428, 441 (Minn. 1983) (clearly erroneous means manifestly contrary to the weight of the evidence as a whole or not reasonably supported by the evidence as a whole).
In view of our reversal and remand of respondent's child support obligation because of the trial court's errors in determining respondent's income from employment, we will also reverse and remand the spousal maintenance award to allow the trial court to compute a reasonable "package" of support and maintenance based on the statutory factors. See Driscoll, 414 N.W.2d at 446 (trial court has authority on remand to review the overall package of support and maintenance).
Affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded.
[ ]* Retired judge of the district court, serving as judge of the Minnesota Court of Appeals by appointment pursuant to Minn. Const. art. VI, § 10.