Legal Memorandum: Bonus in Calculating Income

Issue: Requirements for Declaring a Bonus ‘Regularly Received’

Area of Law: Family Law
Keywords: Bonus; Calculating child support obligation; Income
Jurisdiction: Minnesota
Cited Cases: 406 N.W.2d 64; 396 N.W.2d 253; 551 N.W.2d 507
Cited Statutes: Minn. Stat. § 518.54; Minn. Stat. Ann. § 518.54, subd. 6 (2000)
Date: 04/01/2006


  • Olson v. Olson, No. A04-1148 (Minn. Ct. App. Apr. 19, 2005) (trial court erred in including in the husband’s income annual bonuses that fluctuated greatly in amount)
  • Sloat v. O’Keefe, Nos. C1-96-1608, C9-96-2053 (Minn. Ct. App. Apr. 22, 1997) (it is inappropriate to use a bonus in calculating income if it “is not guaranteed and is variable”)
  • Desrosier v. Desrosier, 551 N.W.2d 507 (Minn. Ct. App. 1996) (although father’s bonuses were “not guaranteed and uncertain as to amount,” because they were “a dependable form of periodic payment” they were to be considered income for purposes of calculating child support obligation)
  • Nelson v. Nelson, No. C7-90-899 (Minn. Ct. App. Oct. 16, 1990) (bonuses and overtime were “regular” and “dependable” sources of income and were therefore appropriately included in income in order to determine maintenance obligation)
  • Novak v. Novak, 406 N.W.2d 64 (Minn. Ct. App. 1987) (trial court appropriately included bonuses in income—i.e., “any form of periodic payment to an individual,” Minn. Stat. § 518.54—for purposes of calculating child support obligation)
  • Haasken v. Haasken, 396 N.W.2d 253 (Minn. Ct. App. 1986) (trial court did not err in finding that bonuses did not constitute dependable income for purposes of child support, because they were not a guaranteed source of income)


  • Minn. Stat. […]

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