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Paying Child Support while kids attending university

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  • Paying Child Support while kids attending university

    Was hoping that someone could shed some light on the matter of paying child support while the kid(s) are attending university.

    In our separation agreement, there is no mentioning of when the child support is to stop. So does this mean that paying child support ends once they turn 18 or is it mandatory to continue paying it even though I am paying for their university as well.

    I am an advocate for paying child support so this is in no manner a way for me to stop paying. What it is about is the so called "double dipping" of paying my ex full child support and also paying for them to live at university and study. It just isn't right if this is the case.

    Thanks for reading and providing any advice or feedback.

  • #2
    I tried to send you a message in reply to yours but it wouldnt work.

    This is a grey area as my partners lawyer told him. Generally this is considered double dipping. If kid is away, you pay living expenses not full table support. In some cases an amount less than table may be ordered or no cs at all.

    If there is nothing in your order this may be the case depending on the income levels. Otherwise the costs are split one third to kid and the remaining two thirds split like a s7 expense. Your ex cant claim living expenses while receiving full table support.

    Have you spoken to a lawyer?


    • #3
      @Rockstar - appreciate the quick response. What would be defined as living expenses for the payee while the kid is away at school?

      I have spoken to three lawyers and received three different answers.
      1. I have to pay full support and 1/2 of university costs.
      2. I pay for only the months that the kid is home from school in summer months, and 1/3 of university costs.
      3. I pay no support since the agreement doesn't specify anything, but I pay 1/3 of university.

      So, you can see my confusion. Lol.

      Do you have any idea of what percentages of table support have been ordered in the past?

      Thx again.


      • #4
        Hi Filthy:

        There are two scenarios at play here

        #1 Your child goes to a local university and lives at home with the other parent.

        you would then still pay full table support and a portion of all of the tuition costs. Normally the child is on the hook for a 1/3 and the balance is split between the parents. Its very grey as some people split it 50-50 and others its split like a s7 expense.

        #2 Your child goes out of town for university.

        You would then only pay full table for the months that your child is at home in the summer. The tuition would then be added with the living expenses and the child would be expected to cover a portion and then the balance would be split between the parents as above.

        Sometimes the 4 months at home is actually split over 12 months since the other parent has a home to maintain.

        You can see that this puts a lot of pressure on the parent with primary residence to strongarm the child to go to a local university. My lawyer said that it was in my best financial interest to convince my child to attend an out of town university. When I crunched the numbers $17k/yr in scenario #1 and $12k in scenario #2.


        • #5
          @nfc4ever - I guess when you break it down it comes to the point where you look at the cost of residence out of town vs. being at the other parents domain.

          Take the numbers that you crunched ($17K/yr vs. $12K/yr). If living out of town and attending school is less than $5K than that option for the child is worth it.

          On the other hand, if the cost of residence is more than the $5K/year then it may be prudent to have the mother hen keeping a close eye on the student while living at her domain. And believe me she will LOL.

          If anyone is familiar with FRO (which I figure you are) do they collect the tuition costs as well as the table support? I figure that they do not, but I could be wrong.

          Thanks for all the responses and reads.


          • #6
            @filthy1 - the numbers I put forth is what I'd be paying, not the kid. University residence can be pricier than living off campus. Also since the other parent is bearing a portion of the living costs, it becomes cheaper for me.

            I'm still in mediation / court with my ex. I'm aware of FRO but have no first hand experience (other than how they messed up my parents SS payments)


            • #7
              I am not a lawyer and am only giving you info Ive researched and gathered from my partners lawyer. As youve seen from your lawyer visits its all grey. Search cases on canlii and youll see its even greyer.

              My partner is with FRO and he pays his CS to them. They are going by an old order so the CS is out of date (but hes paying an increased amount according to his salary) but s7 is not because the % is out of date. His ex hasnt submitted any s7 expenses lately and last year his lawyer calculated his share of university costs and he sent a cheque which she accepted after speaking to her own lawyer.

              Depending on income levels, judges see things differently. From what Ive read, if the paying parent makes lots of money and the recipient doesnt then a base cs amount is payable to maintain the house while kid is away. Sometimes it follows the 4 months full split over 12 months rule.

              My partners agreement clearly states cs is not payable while kids are away at school. His agreement also is not clear on post secondary so FRO won't recover money.

              Post secondary expenses normally include: tuition (less the taxable benefit), books, equipment (lab fees, computers, printers etc), car and car insurance costs (if applicable), residence fees or living expenses (rent, food, utilities) and some transportation expenses.

              I have a feeling your question is whether you should be paying full table cs while kid is away. Problem is, if your ex has an old order she can file it with FRO and you are screwed until kid graduates. If that happens, you calculate the amount you should be paying and take the excess off your share of living expenses.

              My best advice (and remember Im not a lawyer) would be to advise your ex you will be reducing cs to the amount of summer months divided by 12. Otherwise you will be subtracting the excess cs payments from kids living expenses in the spring or whenever you get the bill for it.

              Make sure you get full receipts and that kid applies for OSAP. They offer up to 30% discount on tuition which comes off the costs paid.


              • #8
                I should have also noted that if you are with FRO, contact your case worker for the form you send them about cs stopping. When you know kid is graduating (or hitting an age in your order) send that form in a month or so ahead of time. Then they will contact your ex for proof kid is still a "child of the marriage" and they will stop enforcing cs.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by nfc4ever View Post

                  You can see that this puts a lot of pressure on the parent with primary residence to strongarm the child to go to a local university. My lawyer said that it was in my best financial interest to convince my child to attend an out of town university. When I crunched the numbers $17k/yr in scenario #1 and $12k in scenario #2.

                  This isnt really true. In many cases Ive read, and a case that is the basis for the amount of costs the child pays, this only comes in to serious play when it comes to the childs portion of the costs. Judges have ruled that if kid goes away when there is a similar program available to them close to home, they are responsible for a higher portion of the cost. I dont have the case available to me right now but it was one involving two sons whose father felt that their inheritance from a grandfather should be used to pay for school. One son went to a local school and the other went away. The judge ruled the child who went away should incur a higher portion of the costs (the full 1/3) as they decided to live away from home.

                  Like I said though, you should probably attempt an offer to your ex or wait until all the costs come in and reduce according to your overpayment. My partners ex chooses to "settle up" in May when kid gets home from school.


                  • #10
                    In my experience you want everything in writing, be specific. Try to stay away from FRO if you can. Hopefully your ex is not a gold digger.


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