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Political Issues This forum is for discussing the political aspects of divorce: reform to divorce laws, men's rights, women's rights, injustices in the divorce system, etc.

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Old 08-29-2011, 01:41 PM
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Angry Post Secondary Money and Relationships

My two oldest children are going off to university this weekend. I am very proud.


They have teamed up with their mother in a, "You have to pay for our schooling whether we talk to you or not." position. They have incredibly entitled ideas about what I should have to do and very little interest in working through some bad blood between us.

More than anyhing, I want to be able to talk to them. My daughter gave up on me when she was 15 during my second marriage-now separated. She blamed my wife, my step-daughter and me and has never forgiven me for bringing this person/these people into our lives. My son gave up on me when I disagreed with how much money was being asked of me during his first year of school.

My ex and I disagree on how much is reasonable to contribute to our kid's schooling after their own reasonable contributions.

I have always disagreed with the amount of child support I was paying as we shared the kids 50/50, especially once we were both married and their joint income was always more than ours.

I just wish that I could be treated by the law, the same way a father in an intact family is treated. He has a definite say in how he will support his children during post secondary education. Me? I am trapped by an agreement which was prescribed by our laws.

If my children won't even speak to me, how is it possible that they can come and demand that I support their educations, with their mother and the courts standing behind them?

If this goes to court and I am forced to pay, then I hope that they, too, will be forced into counselling with me in order to help our very strained relationships.

People say that you can't force people to do what you want. True. But, they can force me...

I have offered very close to the amount stipulated in our agreement, a percentage by income, but minus the child support I was paying - they don't live there during school. They need to get a student line of credit with me at my bank as I have no savings and can onlly get this type of loan right now. My children have expressed concern that I will not keep this agreement and take full responsibility for it. I have promised a legal letter stating that I will. Time is running out

I have been following a plan of leaving them alone and hoping that they will come to me at some time. Is there anything else I can do?

My ex has repeatedly threatened to take me to court and I have finally said, "Go for it!".

What else can I do? They will bankrupt me if I am forced to pay what they want. Why is this not my choice?
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Old 08-29-2011, 05:57 PM
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You will likely need to help them. You knew this day was coming and should have planned accordingly. I'm not trying to be mean, BUT that's the position the courts will take.

Couple of points here.

1. WHAT are they asking you to pay? Do you have a cost breakdown of the total that's backed by the program at the school?

2. Have the children applied for any and all available bursaries, scholarships, grants and student loans yet? Can they provide proof of this?

3. Are there any RESPs in place?

The basic math that you can use in a reasonable offer is:

TOTAL cost (from the program of study) = Tuition + books (@ 60%, buy used where possible) + Cheapest residence cost (if they choose to live at a different level or with friends and that's MORE expensive than the cheapest residence option at the school...not your issue) + reasonable meal plan (go middle of the road at it usually gives you 3 meals/day or something) + travel home 2X year at the cheapest method (typically BUS) = cost to study

Cost to study - ANY sources of funding (ie. the aforementioned scholarships, bursaries, grants, loans, RESPs) = total remaining

Total remaining /3....1/3 is the kid's responsibility vis a vis savings, working part time, etc. The REMAINING 2/3 to be split proportional to income between you and the ex.

Ballpark range at university is 10-12K/year or so.... Typically the children would qualify for 8-10k in student loans. Plus grants, plus bursaries. See why it's not as bad as it looks initially. You are probably looking at an estimated extra cost of 300-400/month for both kids COMBINED, unless the ex makes a ridiculous amount of money that would disqualify them from seeking student loans.

You COULD always offer to continue to pay child support DIRECTLY TO THE CHILD each month, to help them with their 1/3 of the expenses in order to be reasonable and to make sure the kids are getting the full amount....HOWEVER your ex is NOT obligated to accept that. Child support and Post Secondary expenses are totally separate, as long as the child is pursuing post secondary, typically CS CONTINUES until the course of study ends.
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Old 08-29-2011, 06:04 PM
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They need to get a student line of credit with me at my bank as I have no savings and can onlly get this type of loan right now. My children have expressed concern that I will not keep this agreement and take full responsibility for it. I have promised a legal letter stating that I will
THAT can potentially wreck their credit if you default on it. Legal letter or no, THAT shouldn't be something they "need" to do. If they are unable to secure student loans, then yes, that would be a viable option.

Why is this not my choice
The Best Interests of the Children check. Where parties cannot get along and force the court to make a decision, the welfare of the children trumps your choice. If you were still together, you'd still be helping the children. Whether it would be allowing them to live at the home rent free and attending a local school, or whatnot. Yes, you might have a bit more choice in the matter than you do now, BUT you'd still be paying. Perhaps in a different way, but the end result wouldn't be overly different.

The children still have an obligation to take the necessary steps to finance their own education. If they haven't applied for student loans and such, then they aren't doing their part and you are absolutely justified in insisting they do so.

If they HAVE done so and were denied, or truly qualify for other sources, then you need to find a way to make it work, and the line of credit would be a viable option that many higher income families MUST take, by virtue of not qualify for the government loan programs.
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Old 08-29-2011, 08:56 PM
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Thanks for the detailed accounting and candor.

Yep, I knew that this day would come and, no, I did not prepare for it.

Their total costs are around 14000 with a total owing after OSAP, inheritance and contributions by my son, will be 10,000. We haven't settled on income split as my ex just recently lost her job. I am hoping to use her old income which would put me 65% responsible, so about 6500.

I agree that child support is separate from extraordinary expenses, but the courts do recognize withdrawl of support as an option, since the kids are no longer incurring costs at home. I had hoped to just make it part of my 65%. My agreement actually stipulates that it remains in effect (good lawyer-hers).

I need to student line of credit, because I am paying off other loans, one for the house I am in - hoped my son and daughter would live with me again. I will be able to pay the student loans with no real worries once my other loans are payed, so it makes sense.

I first began fighting paying "my share" when my son started last year. He owed me 2500, wanted to use his grandmother's inheritance to pay off a credit card debt and hadn't worked for the past year and a half, so contributed 0. They wanted me to pay around 6500 last year. I payed 4800 - 1300 in child support deducted, so I am hated.

My daughter hasn't worked at all. I thought that we all worked. She was trying for scholarships this year, so couldn't work? She got 1000. Nice, but hardly replaced a job. She has never forgiven me for marrying my second wife - now separated (and looking for her share) and how I handled it.

Their combined income in the other house is pretty high and so is mine, so I look like a dufus for even questioning this. My wife for the past four years made very little money and had two teenagers of her own, so our combined income was about 30000 lower than my ex's combined income, yet I still payed child support for kids I had half the time (except my daughter eventually).

Actually, I have never been keen on paying child support for kids I took care of half the time. At the beginning, our incomes weren't that different, but they are now-mine 90, hers 55. I may get a lot of flack for this, but I think the kids are half mine and half hers, not like possessions, just responsibility. I was also turfed pretty nastily, so have always figured she should have to do it on her own.

What I really want is for them to work with me through the difficulties we have. I am hoping that if I pay more and create less friction, they will come around. This part is killing me, literally.

Thanks for your input. I am hoping that others will put in there two cents.
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