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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 10-27-2015, 08:48 AM
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Default Advice on Post Secondary Education costs

Hello:
This is a question from my boyfriend who lives with me.

I am a separated parent of three children, all three are currently in high school. The children reside with their mother and I have always paid my cs as per the grid as well as my share of s7 expenses.

My question is this. My oldest will be attending a post secondary institution of some sort in September. She has informed me that her mother has stated that she is "not allowed" to apply for OSAP as her mother feels "the worst thing you can do for you child is to leave them with a huge student loan." Apparently since I am in higher income earner I am expected to come up with my pro-rata share "in cash "in September. I understand that in the event my daughter goes away to school that will be at least $12,000 a year.

I am in a common law relationship and am helping to support two families therefore I do not have anything in the way of savings. Although my current annual salary is close to $80,000 I still live pay cheque to pay cheque. I was forced to claim bankruptcy two years ago so I also have no credit currently. My ex works and makes $40,00 yearly.

I am certainly not opposed to helping my children pay for their education, in fact I believe it should be divided three ways, and the child, her mother and myself each pay 1/3 of the cost after she graduates.

Can my ex refuse to let our daughter apply for financial assistance through OSAP and them sue me for my pro rata share of the expenses??
This seems outrageous to me, but apparently, it makes perfect sense to her.
Don't forget I have two other children who will be following the first one in the way of post secondary education, so I really need to get this sorted out this year.

Any comments or advice would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:05 AM
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Default Advice on Post Secondary Education costs

Do a search on this forum. You'll find that kids are responsible for a portion of the expense, more so if they choose to go away.

My advice is to let your ex know in writing that you will be following the common practice of splitting the expense as one third to your children with the remaining 2/3 split proportionate to income. That the amount split is the net cost less any scholarships, bursaries and tax benefits. Also let her know that you expect your kids to apply for OSAP making them eligible for the 30% off tuition and potential grant money awarded.

You should also go into the OSAP calculator site and do a rough calculation to find out what your kid might be eligible for. If they live with their mother and she has a low income they become eligible for more grant money which will show up in that calculator.

When you have this info, add it to your email and point out that the tuition reduction is a benefit to all of you and the grant money will cover her portion of the expense. The loans she gets can go into a savings account to pay off the amount owing later. Let her know you will not budge on the benefits your kids will receive from the government for post secondary education.

This seems to be a trend lately. While kid shouldnt have to pay for the full expense and go into debt, courts side on having kids pay a portion. And OSAP isnt like it used to be. Kids from lower income families are more eligible for grants. Plus they dont get the 30% off tuition if they dont apply!

Also: DO NOT say anything about your expenses or your living situation etc. this is business with your kids. Nothing else but the cost allocated to you your ex and kid comes into this discussion. Judges dont care what other responsibilities you have.
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Old 10-27-2015, 09:13 AM
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I'm in a very similar situation, and one thing to make clear is that a significant portion of OSAP is pure GRANTS... (i.e. not loans). The student then has the option to take further loans if desired/necessary/etc.

Both my kids applied, and received, about 30% of their tuition in the form of these grants. It is HER income alone (i.e. the parent they last lived with) which determine eligibility... not yours.

There is absolutely no reason whatsoever to "avoid" applying for OSAP. That money applies directly to the CHILDs 1/3 of the cost... and by not applying that only hurts the child.
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Old 10-27-2015, 10:08 AM
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Your ex can express their feelings to you and the kid however she cannot prevent the kid from applying. She also has an obligation to apply for and accept any and all financial aid, grants etc available to her and it is the net cost after that thay gets split.

Agreed with the above poster regarding your new family - leave that out as it has zero bearing on your obligations to your first family...that was your choice, not theirs.
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Old 10-27-2015, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blinkandimgone View Post
Your ex can express their feelings to you and the kid however she cannot prevent the kid from applying. She also has an obligation to apply for and accept any and all financial aid, grants etc available to her and it is the net cost after that thay gets split.

Agreed with the above poster regarding your new family - leave that out as it has zero bearing on your obligations to your first family...that was your choice, not theirs.

I like this wording too--obligation to apply for all eligible benefits and awards. Definitely go in the calculator to see how much kid would be eligible for and that can also go in your response.
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Old 10-27-2015, 11:51 AM
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This is an interesting read, specifically on this topic and does address OSAP loans:
Student Loans and Child Support - Adult Children Contribution
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Old 10-27-2015, 11:57 AM
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Thank you all so much for the info.

I do have one additional question though. What if the ex refuses to provide her income as well as her signature on the OSAP form. Do we have a legal recourse to force her to do so.
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:00 PM
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Theres also a couple good cases that judges use as a base for their decision. Kids are required to contribute but they dont have to go into crushing debt. Your partner isnt saying hes going to pay nothing, hes saying he will pay his share. Hisex cant say he has to pay all of it. It doesnt work that way.
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Old 10-27-2015, 12:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Niagaragirl View Post
Thank you all so much for the info.

I do have one additional question though. What if the ex refuses to provide her income as well as her signature on the OSAP form. Do we have a legal recourse to force her to do so.

Doesnt she provide her income info annually?

Do the calculator and get the estimated numbers. When he has that, send her notice that based on his calculations kid would be entitled to $xxx off tuition and $xxx in grants.

She cant control her kid like that. Does he have a good enough relationship with the kids to encourage them to get the application in? They will have to pay a portion so why not use the money thats free?
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Old 10-27-2015, 05:42 PM
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she does provide her income annually but is very secretive about it in regards to disclosing ANY info to outside sources which is why we think she will not be willing to disclose this info.
As far as the children go, they will no do anything against their mother's wishes, she is in total control. Also, when the children is away at school, is the mother enitiled to the same support for that child?
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