518A.32 POTENTIAL INCOME.
Subdivision 1. General.
If a parent is voluntarily unemployed, underemployed, or employed
on a less than full-time basis, or there is no direct evidence of any income, child support must be
calculated based on a determination of potential income. For purposes of this determination, it
is rebuttably presumed that a parent can be gainfully employed on a full-time basis. As used in
this section, "full time" means 40 hours of work in a week except in those industries, trades, or
professions in which most employers, due to custom, practice, or agreement, use a normal work
week of more or less than 40 hours in a week.
Subd. 2. Methods.
Determination of potential income must be made according to one of
three methods, as appropriate:
(1) the parent's probable earnings level based on employment potential, recent work history,
and occupational qualifications in light of prevailing job opportunities and earnings levels in
(2) if a parent is receiving unemployment compensation or workers' compensation, that
parent's income may be calculated using the actual amount of the unemployment compensation or
workers' compensation benefit received; or
(3) the amount of income a parent could earn working full time at 150 percent of the current
federal or state minimum wage, whichever is higher.
Subd. 3. Parent not considered voluntarily unemployed or underemployed.
A parent is
not considered voluntarily unemployed or underemployed upon a showing by the parent that:
(1) unemployment or underemployment is temporary and will ultimately lead to an increase
in income; or
(2) the unemployment or underemployment represents a bona fide career change that
outweighs the adverse effect of that parent's diminished income on the child.
Subd. 4. TANF recipient.
If the parent of a joint child is a recipient of a temporary assistance
to a needy family (TANF) cash grant, no potential income is to be imputed to that parent.
Subd. 5. Caretaker.
If a parent stays at home to care for a child who is subject to the child
support order, the court may consider the following factors when determining whether the parent
is voluntarily unemployed or underemployed:
(1) the parties' parenting and child care arrangements before the child support action;
(2) the stay-at-home parent's employment history, recency of employment, earnings, and the
availability of jobs within the community for an individual with the parent's qualifications;
(3) the relationship between the employment-related expenses, including, but not limited to,
child care and transportation costs required for the parent to be employed, and the income the
stay-at-home parent could receive from available jobs within the community for an individual
with the parent's qualifications;
(4) the child's age and health, including whether the child is physically or mentally disabled;
(5) the availability of child care providers.
This subdivision does not apply if the parent stays at home only to care for other nonjoint
Subd. 6. Economic conditions.
A self-employed parent is not considered to be voluntarily
unemployed or underemployed if that parent can show that the parent's net self-employment
income is lower because of economic conditions that are directly related to the source or sources
of that parent's income.
History: 2005 c 164 s 29; 1Sp2005 c 7 s 28; 2006 c 280 s 19