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In re Beckendorf

Court of Appeals of Minnesota

February 13, 2017

In re the Marriage of:Joshua Ryan Beckendorf, petitioner, Respondent,
v.
Jordana Leslie Fox, Appellant.

         Scott County District Court File No. 70-FA-11-24895

         Reversed and remanded

          Samantha J. Gemberling, Wolf, Rohr, Gemberling and Allen, P.A., St. Paul, Minnesota (for respondent)

          John M. Jerabek, Susan M. Lach, Tuft, Lach, Jerabek & O'Connell, PLLC, Maplewood, Minnesota (for appellant)

          Considered and decided by Smith, Tracy M., Presiding Judge; Johnson, Judge; and Reyes, Judge.

         SYLLABUS

         Evidence of prospective childcare expenses may constitute "documentation of child care expenses" for purposes of Minn. Stat. § 518A.40, subd. 3(a) (2016).

          OPINION

          SMITH, TRACY M., Judge

         Appellant Jordana Leslie Fox appeals an order of a child support magistrate (CSM) denying her motion for the court to require respondent Joshua Ryan Beckendorf to pay childcare support. Fox's submissions to the CSM included documentation of both her past and prospective childcare expenses. The CSM denied Fox's motion, ruling that Fox provided "no documentation" of the amount "actually spent" on childcare and therefore that her submissions failed to satisfy the portion of Minn. Stat. § 518A.40, subd. 3(a), that states that "[t]he court must require . . . documentation of child care expenses from the obligee." Because documentation of childcare expenses may include evidence of prospective childcare expenses, and because Fox provided documentation of both her past and prospective childcare expenses, we reverse and remand.

         FACTS

         The 2012 judgment dissolving the parties' marriage granted the parties joint legal custody of their two children, S.B. and M.B;[1] granted Fox sole physical custody of the children; and reserved the issue of childcare support. In 2015, Fox moved the district court to order Beckendorf to pay childcare support. Included in Fox's submissions to the district court were a childcare plan and rate sheets for various childcare options. The district court heard arguments on Fox's motion and referred the childcare-support question to the CSM.

         Fox submitted supplemental documentation to the CSM, including an affidavit as well as checks and receipts for childcare expenses incurred between her original motion and her supplemental submissions to the CSM. Fox's affidavit stated that she requires childcare because she works three days per week, eight hours per day. Fox calculated her expected summer-childcare expenses based on the children spending half days in childcare camp and half days with an in-home sitter. Regarding summer expenses, Fox submitted:

(1) a spreadsheet of available summer-childcare ...

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