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    My son is going away to school. Dad is refusing to pay for housing related costs because he was accepted to the same program at a University here at home. Is this okay?

  • #2
    Who is the custodial parent? Are you both responsible for making decisions?

    Do you have a separation agreement in place that states anything about special and extraordinary expenses?

    Typically, it's worded that the parent's make decision's of this regard together based on what is reasonable and what can be afforded by each.

    If there's an option for him to get the same quality of education closer to home without the cost of housing, you both need to discuss what you can each afford based on your income.

    But yes, in theory, depending on an agreement or other factors, he can refuse to pay for things if he simply cannot afford it but if there's evidence that he can afford it, you could probably dispute it in court but you'll spend more doing that than on his entire education and housing...

    Best to work it out between you both and really think about what's best for your son.

    Comment


    • #3
      If the same program that is available closer to home then there would need to be a reasonable explanation why he is going away. Dad could argue that kid is responsible for his living expenses since he chose to go away to school. He would still be responsible for a portion of the school costs.

      You could propose that kid pays for his own living expenses while living away and the two of you share the tuition and book costs less any tuition grants and tax benefits.

      The prevailing case law is Lewi v. Lewi where the child who went away to school had a higher contribution than his brother who attended school at home.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by EmilyJ View Post
        Who is the custodial parent? Are you both responsible for making decisions?

        Do you have a separation agreement in place that states anything about special and extraordinary expenses?

        Typically, it's worded that the parent's make decision's of this regard together based on what is reasonable and what can be afforded by each.

        If there's an option for him to get the same quality of education closer to home without the cost of housing, you both need to discuss what you can each afford based on your income.

        But yes, in theory, depending on an agreement or other factors, he can refuse to pay for things if he simply cannot afford it but if there's evidence that he can afford it, you could probably dispute it in court but you'll spend more doing that than on his entire education and housing...

        Best to work it out between you both and really think about what's best for your son.


        We donít have an agreement. Itís been pretty amicable until now. If we go to lawyers now what can I expect? Long drawn out processes? Itíll be a considerable amount of money over the years but I donít know what to do.

        Comment


        • #5
          Depending on the level of amicability you're claiming, going to a lawyer now would either result in a mutual consented upon agreement being put in place to hold you both accountable to your obligations to your children OR it could result in a feud lasting for years which seems more common unfortunately.

          It takes years sometimes to sort things out through the system and from recent experience, thousands and thousands of dollars for minimal outcome.

          I'd suggest you both keep things the way they are if it's working and when it comes to the school costs, even if you brought it to court, he wouldn't likely have to pay more than he agrees to so you'd just be out a lot of money and left with a headache and probably a damaged relationship with your ex which isn't good for your son.

          Compromise if you can. I know it's not the news you want to hear but it's likely the reality.

          Could you propose that your son get a part time job while at school to help with the cost and you and the father could split the balance? Just a thought!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 2019Sunshine View Post
            My son is going away to school. Dad is refusing to pay for housing related costs because he was accepted to the same program at a University here at home. Is this okay?
            so the father is willing to pay if he takes the course at the university in the home town? If so then tell your son if he wants to go away to school then he (your son) will have to pony up more money for that. There is no reason for the child to go away to school if the same program is offered closer.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by EmilyJ View Post
              Depending on the level of amicability you're claiming, going to a lawyer now would either result in a mutual consented upon agreement being put in place to hold you both accountable to your obligations to your children OR it could result in a feud lasting for years which seems more common unfortunately.

              It takes years sometimes to sort things out through the system and from recent experience, thousands and thousands of dollars for minimal outcome.

              I'd suggest you both keep things the way they are if it's working and when it comes to the school costs, even if you brought it to court, he wouldn't likely have to pay more than he agrees to so you'd just be out a lot of money and left with a headache and probably a damaged relationship with your ex which isn't good for your son.

              Compromise if you can. I know it's not the news you want to hear but it's likely the reality.

              Could you propose that your son get a part time job while at school to help with the cost and you and the father could split the balance? Just a thought!


              While this is nice, its not legal.

              Parents have a legal responsibility to contribute to a childs school expenses and that includes expenses to attend school away from home.

              The big BUT in that sentence is the legal term reasonable and necessary. If the same program with the same opportunities is available at home, he should be attending there not away from home. Your ex can argue that the added cost is not reasonable or necessary for his education. The court would also look at what the situation would have been had you remained together. For instance, if you were still married and could not afford the expense, would you have expected your son to pay for that cost?

              The other aspect of your situation is child support. If your son stayed home, your ex would pay full table support. If he goes away, your ex does not pay cs. You could suggest that he pay a portion of the living expenses as his cs would be significantly reduced for 8 months. Again, your son could make a pitch to his father for greater support of his education. Living away from home provides different life lessons.

              Regardless of an agreement or not, the argument could be made for both sides for and against the cost. Your ex is not a bank machine who is forced to pay for things you/your son want that may not have been possible while married.

              The court will start with an approach to the expense but you will spend thousands to get there. In my partners case, he is now in for $8000 in legal fees because his ex believes the kids should be allowed to attend school away from home and NOT contribute to this additional expense. Its a difference of almost $10,000 per year. He has to pay the legal fees as she forced the issue due to her refusal to accept what the court would decide.

              The bottom line is, if the expense is necessary for his education, it may be considered by a court and kid may bear the full responsibility to pay it.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by rockscan View Post
                While this is nice, its not legal.

                Parents have a legal responsibility to contribute to a childs school expenses and that includes expenses to attend school away from home.

                The big BUT in that sentence is the legal term reasonable and necessary. If the same program with the same opportunities is available at home, he should be attending there not away from home. Your ex can argue that the added cost is not reasonable or necessary for his education. The court would also look at what the situation would have been had you remained together. For instance, if you were still married and could not afford the expense, would you have expected your son to pay for that cost?

                The other aspect of your situation is child support. If your son stayed home, your ex would pay full table support. If he goes away, your ex does not pay cs. You could suggest that he pay a portion of the living expenses as his cs would be significantly reduced for 8 months. Again, your son could make a pitch to his father for greater support of his education. Living away from home provides different life lessons.

                Regardless of an agreement or not, the argument could be made for both sides for and against the cost. Your ex is not a bank machine who is forced to pay for things you/your son want that may not have been possible while married.

                The court will start with an approach to the expense but you will spend thousands to get there. In my partners case, he is now in for $8000 in legal fees because his ex believes the kids should be allowed to attend school away from home and NOT contribute to this additional expense. Its a difference of almost $10,000 per year. He has to pay the legal fees as she forced the issue due to her refusal to accept what the court would decide.

                The bottom line is, if the expense is necessary for his education, it may be considered by a court and kid may bear the full responsibility to pay it.
                Is this really the case CS ends when he moves away? I might add, heís not planning on moving back in over the summer.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Then yes cs ends. Hes not living at home, he has living expenses elsewhere.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by 2019Sunshine View Post
                    Is this really the case CS ends when he moves away? I might add, heís not planning on moving back in over the summer.

                    If the child moves out of the custodial parents house in order to go to school, and both parents contribute to the costs associated with the child living away, then the current general expectation is that c/s would be significantly reduced (if not ceased) for duration the child no longer lives at home.


                    The reason why is that, if the parents are paying for residence and a food card (most of the time a requirement to live on residence), why would the non-custodial parent have to pay those costs in the form of c/s to the custodial parent on top of the university costs. In that scenario the NCP would being paying for accommodation and food expenses twice as the majority of C/S is for food and accommodations of the child.


                    C/S would pick back up to normal for the months the child moves back home.



                    It looks like your options are:


                    1) the child goes away for school, c/s is reduced or stopped, and the ex pays their proportional share of kids schooling costs; or


                    2) the child stays home, goes to a local school and you continue to receive c/s.

                    Comment

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