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Financial Issues This forum is for discussing any of the financial issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 10-16-2012, 12:02 PM
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Question Child Support - should I ask my EX to pay for my 19 year full time high school studen

Hello everyone,

I would very much appreciate your input into my question.

We have separated on July 2, 2012. I bought a 3 bedroom house in Brantford (mortgage) and moved here with my two sons ages 18 and 19 (almost 20). My ex moved to rented apartment in Milton (he works there). My younger son attends Mohawk College doing a college program and my older one is also attending Mohawk College but doing a program called High School within College working on finishing high school and getting some college credits at the same time. To put this short: both boys are attending school full time. My ex is paying me $290 per month for my younger son but is not paying anything or willing to pay for my older son claiming that "his time to finish high school is over and he should be working now and earning money". I do not agree. My older son was bullied at his old school and dropped out in June 2010 for this and other reasons (verbal and mental abuse from his dad). He went back to alternative high school program later but did not do well. Now that we have separated he is attending school every day and making quick progress to get his high school diploma.
My EX retained a lawyer. His lawyer wrote to me in spring 2012 that: "I understand that Conrad is no longer in school and is supporting himself". This is not true. Conrad is attending school full time and never was working full time. Right now he does not have a job.
I ask for your advice whether I should write a letter to my EX'es lawyer letting her know that I request that my EX pays child support for both boys and say give her a month to respond and if she does not should I go ahead and file an application with the Court for Child support? I understand that going through court is a complicated process and I do not have any money for a lawyer. Do you think I can fill out, issue and have the application served on my EX all by myself? Do you think that the Court would rule in my favour? How long would this process take? Would Child Support payments be retroactive from July 3rd? I would very much appreciate your input.
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Old 10-16-2012, 12:25 PM
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If the child is attending full time school, they are still a child of marriage as defined in the applicable acts. As such, he should be receiving c/s.

There are caveats to this, but not many. One of the caveats is, is there a reasonable expectation the child will graduate. If they have taken 2 victory laps before, is there a reasonable expectation a 3rd will succeed? If yes, then support should continue.

Child support payments may be retroactive if a judge determines it appropriate. There is no guarantee they will be retro though. It will depend on the arguments made for and against having it retro.
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:00 PM
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Thank you very much for your input. I really appreciate it. Do you think that my first step should be to write a letter to my EX'es lawyer or to go to court directly? I feel I should write to his lawyer first. To avoid costs for both of us.
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:43 PM
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Do it via documentable method, but definitely respond to the lawyer and request that your EX begin voluntary payment of CS for BOTH children as per the CS tables.

The caveat that the older child is going to remain in full time schooling. (essentially if he drops out again, then it's time for him to put on the big boy pants and go support himself).

That would be a reasonable offer, basically if third time is the charm and the child is doing well and is expected to succeed, then he should be able to have the opportunity to do so.
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Old 10-16-2012, 01:55 PM
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Another question may be, how long is the program and when did the child start?

If the program started in September, and the child hadn't been in school in years prior, c/s wouldn't likely start until September.

The second part is, how long is the program? If the program is only 6-7 months, the chances of getting in and out of court during that time are slim. And the c/s payable, given what he already pays ($290 a month, which means his income is around $34k per year), will be $205 more ($495). So for the sake of 6-7 months, or $1200-$1400 in aggregate, what would it cost you in legal fees to obtain that amount?

If the program is 1-2 years, it is a different ball game entirely.
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Old 10-16-2012, 07:51 PM
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I thank you very much for your replies. I truly appreciate it.

The program he is currently attending started in September, however, Conrad was also in school last year. From September to January he was trying to do courses online via ILC (Independent Learning Centre - Ontario sponsored online learning) and from January to end of June he was a full time student at an alternative high school (for students who needed more flexibility with school hours). I am on CPP Disability and Conrad was receiving a monthly allowance from CPP from January and continues to do so now (they paid him throughout the summer).

My expectations are that Conrad will continue his studies to the end of the year and then go on to college.

How much do you think it will cost me to file application for c/s with the court. As I mentioned I will not be able to hire a lawyer so I will do it all by myself but I do understand that there will be costs involved with filing and serving the documents.

Thank you again for any input.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Margaret-Krupa View Post
From September to January he was trying to do courses online via ILC (Independent Learning Centre - Ontario sponsored online learning) and from January to end of June he was a full time student at an alternative high school (for students who needed more flexibility with school hours).
I doubt either of these would be considered full time school. Online courses are likely definitely not, and the alternative schooling with flexible hours is also likely not. The reason for the "flexible hours" is to allow the people there to also work.

Quote:
My expectations are that Conrad will continue his studies to the end of the year and then go on to college.
There can be a big difference between expectation and what actually happens. If he is registered in full time post secondary school, there is evidence he is still a student. If he is not registered, you only have speculation.

Quote:
How much do you think it will cost me to file application for c/s with the court. As I mentioned I will not be able to hire a lawyer so I will do it all by myself but I do understand that there will be costs involved with filing and serving the documents.

Thank you again for any input.
If the schooling is only what you said, online courses and then flexible hours alternative schooling, I am not sure your case for c/s is all that strong. I could be totally wrong, I just can't see either of them being deemed "full time school". As for how much it will cost, I would go down to the local family/superior court and speak to the FLIC office or duty counsel and see if they can better outline the costs.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:47 AM
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I disagree. In a case where a child has a committment to education but takes a year off to earn money for tuition, judge's have been known to consider the child "still in school" for practical purposes, and order CS to continue. I am not saying that is right or wrong, I am saying it happens.

If the child is carrying a full course load for the intention of qualifying for post-secondary education, I cannot see those judges ending support.

ILC or alternative schools still mean the child is learning full time (if they are carrying a full class load) and doing homework, studying, researching and writing assignments. In college or university, actually in-class time for a full course load is about 12 hours a week. You never hear a judge say, about a full-time university student, that they are not "full-time students" because they are only in school 12 hours a week. Why should there be any difference with indepentant learning at a high school level?

If the child is currently enrolled in a full course load, then the question of "Maybe he won't go to college next year" may be addressed next year. There is no need to address it now.

These are all questions that should be addressed. I don't think there can be a clear prediction of any particular judge's decision.
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Old 10-17-2012, 09:51 AM
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Thank you again for your input.

To clarify: Conrad is registered as a full time student with public school board in Brantford. I have a letter from MOhawk College confirming that "this letter is to verify that conrad K. is a full time student enrolled inthe specialized High School Program, SWAC. ... Our program runs from September to Febraury, fivve days a week from 9:00 to 2:30" Also I have a letter from the school board confirming Conrad's enrollment as a full time high school student.
I am planning to go to a legal clinic soon to figure out how to file the application. No-one so far cannot advise me how much does it cost to issue the application and what other costs are involved in the process.
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Old 10-17-2012, 10:02 AM
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Thank you Mess for your encouraging post. I really am upset with my EX. I am really trying hard to provide the best enviroment for my sons to live and learn. I mortgaged myself up to my ears so that they can each have their own rooms and a place called home just like we used to live before me and my husband separated. I bought them new furniture, new computers and new clothing for school this year so that they would feel good about themselfs. I had to pay all the debts on my credit card by myself (30K) because I was stupid enough to use my own credit cards when we were short of money during all the time when he did not work. My EX on the other hand cashed his share of the profit of sale of our house (he has $130K in his bank account), only pays $290 a month for my younger son and does not want to participate in any costs of Alex'es college tuition, kid's transportation costs, clothing... absolutely nothing. Even his check for September was two months late (he claimed he did not know my new address when he talks to his 18 year old son every week ). Therefore I feel that I should have him pay child support for Conrad. That boy really needs a lot of help to stand up on his feet. He has self-esteem problems, has been treated for depression and anxiety and is socially very withdrawn. For him just to go to the school building was a huge effort. He is doing better day by day but still needs a lot of support. Alex on the other hand has an eating disorder and his food costs me a lot of money. He will only eat very lean expensive meat, special dairy products, protein bars, protein powder etc. As you all know this stuff is very expensive.
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