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Child Support and Gross Income 
 


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<font size=3><b><i>New Child Support Laws in Minnesota</b></i>

What is Gross Income
Minnesota gross income calculation, lawyers, attorneys

Minnesota Statutes provide a definition regarding gross income which is used to determine child support. The definition is very broad and includes all sources of income.   This is codified in Minnesota Statutes Section 518A.29 which states in pertinent part:

518A.29 CALCULATION OF GROSS INCOME.
Gross income includes any form of periodic payment to an individual, including, but not limited to:

  • salaries
  • wages
  • commissions
  • self-employment income
  • workers' compensation
  • unemployment benefits
  • annuity payments
  • military and naval retirement, pension and disability payments
  • spousal maintenance received under a previous order or the current proceeding
  • Social Security
  • veterans benefits provided for a joint child,  and
  • potential income under section 518A.32.

Salaries, wages, commissions, or other compensation paid by third parties shall be based upon gross income before participation in an employer-sponsored benefit plan that
allows an employee to pay for a benefit or expense using pretax dollars, such as flexible spending plans and health savings accounts. No deductions shall be allowed for contributions to pensions, 401-K, IRA, or other retirement benefits.

Gross income does not include compensation received by a party for employment in excess of a 40-hour work week, provided that:

  • child support is ordered in an amount at least equal to the guideline amount based on gross income not excluded under this clause; and
  • the party demonstrates, and the court finds, that:
    • the excess employment began after the filing of the petition for dissolution or legal separation or a petition related to custody, parenting time, or support;
    • the excess employment reflects an increase in the work schedule or hours worked over that of the two years immediately preceding the filing of the petition;
    • the excess employment is voluntary and not a condition of employment;
    • the excess employment is in the nature of additional, part-time or overtime employment compensable by the hour or fraction of an hour; and
    • the party's compensation structure has not been changed for the purpose of affecting a
      support or maintenance obligation.

Expense reimbursements or in-kind payments received by a parent in the course of employment, self-employment, or operation of a business shall be counted as income if they
reduce personal living expenses. That would include car allowances, housing allowances, and meal per diem in excess of actual meals. 

Gross income may be calculated on either an annual or monthly basis. Weekly income shall be translated to monthly income by multiplying the weekly income by 4.33.

Gross income does not include a child support payment received by a party. It is a rebuttable presumption that adoption assistance payments, guardianship assistance payments, and foster care subsidies are not gross income.

Gross income does not include the income of the obligor's spouse and the obligee's spouse.

Child support or spousal maintenance payments ordered by a court for a nonjoint child or former spouse or ordered payable to the other party as part of the current proceeding are deducted
from other periodic payments received by a party for purposes of determining gross income.

Gross income does not include public assistance benefits or other forms of public assistance based on need.

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