Ottawa Divorce .com Forums


User CP

New posts

Advertising

  Ottawa Divorce .com Forums > Main Category > Divorce & Family Law

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 05-11-2021, 10:10 AM
Gilligan Gilligan is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 274
Gilligan is on a distinguished road
Default Post Secondary Expenses in a Shared Custody Sitaution

Hi there,

I have done a fair bit of research on this and have some outstanding questions as most of the guidance seems to be written in the lens of a Sole Custody situation.

Background:
Child will be 18 in October. Planning to go away for University in Sept 2021, school is likely going to be 5+ hours away. Time is split 50/50 and I pay a fairly high amount of child support and Section 7 as the mother is on LTD. We have a joint RESP with around $25K that will be used to fund some the educational expenses. To date, the situation has been fairly acrimonious and suspect this will be a challenge given the likely reduction in CS and higher expenses that must be shared.

Because I currently pay offset support, there is enforcement happening in one direction only via FRO. This uni-directional enforcement is something that causes many problems as it seems that the expectation that the support recipient is the only parent paying for expenses and entitled to enforcement (this also, in my experience, let's them completely dictate decisions because the other person is on the hook financially). In a situation where both parents should be sharing an expense, this seems to be something that needs to be corrected.

Questions:
  • Can anybody suggest the best way to deal with this, where both parents have the ability to have enforcement for their respective share? Is the expectation that one parent pays, and the other is subject to enforcement?
  • Given the child is going away for school, at a significant distance (it is a co-op program), it seems the expectation that support is not paid to the parent, with the exception of 4 months if the child returns. Given it's a coop program, the child would have a maximum of 4 months over the 5 years, with no real guarantee of coming one the first year. Any thoughts on this?
  • Would there be concerns of the mother claiming some kind of need for financial support, given that we have a joint RESP or because she is on LTD?


I'm sure I will have others, but these are top of mind at the moment.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-11-2021, 10:45 AM
rockscan rockscan is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 5,863
rockscan will become famous soon enoughrockscan will become famous soon enough
Default

Will answer questions and also add some details. Regardless of the situation and what your ex thinks, the situation still stands on what happens.

To start you will need to file a motion to change as you need a new order for enforcement. Your best bet is to advise the other parent that things will need to change and give them a set time to respond otherwise you will be filing with the court. I say this because it will take several months to get through the courts and you will be paying the increased amount until a decision is made.

Answers/comments:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilligan View Post
Child will be 18 in October. Planning to go away for University in Sept 2021, school is likely going to be 5+ hours away.
There is an obligation for the child to pay a portion of costs and that is normally set at 1/3. If there is a program similar to what they are going away for close to home then the child is obligated to pay this amount and possibly more depending on the financial situation. You are not a bank machine. If your ex tries to make some claims about this, know a child is to consider local first. The judge in my husbands case even pointed this out to his ex when she argued for kids to go away and parents pay more.

Quote:
Time is split 50/50 and I pay a fairly high amount of child support and Section 7 as the mother is on LTD.
If you are paying a share of residence, you dont pay additional child support just because she is on LTD.

Quote:
We have a joint RESP with around $25K that will be used to fund some the educational expenses.
If you have no other children together, the RESP should be applied to the cost. You could split it annually to cover the cost but it goes against the parents share of the expense.

Quote:
To date, the situation has been fairly acrimonious and suspect this will be a challenge given the likely reduction in CS and higher expenses that must be shared.
Which is why I say file a motion to change early as this will take at least two years but you can apply your overpayment against what you may owe.

Quote:
Can anybody suggest the best way to deal with this, where both parents have the ability to have enforcement for their respective share? Is the expectation that one parent pays, and the other is subject to enforcement?
Because you pay offset you are the payor so you need a new order otherwise FRO will continue to enforce the old order. If your ex wont work with you, start your paperwork and get ready to file in August.

Quote:
Given the child is going away for school, at a significant distance (it is a co-op program), it seems the expectation that support is not paid to the parent, with the exception of 4 months if the child returns. Given it's a coop program, the child would have a maximum of 4 months over the 5 years, with no real guarantee of coming one the first year. Any thoughts on this?
If kid comes home in the summer then four months summer only support is owed. If kid stays away all year then no cs is paid because you pay a portion of living expenses away from home. As previously stated, if this program is available closer to home then the onus is on kid to contribute.

Quote:
Would there be concerns of the mother claiming some kind of need for financial support, given that we have a joint RESP or because she is on LTD?
She can try but it wont fly. Especially if you can prove she is able to work. If the financial situation is that bad then kid shouldnt be incurring such a high expense to go away. Your ex is also required to contribute proportionate to income.

First thing first is working with your kid on a budget and OSAP applications. I think they still offer grants for low income families and if so she should be using her moms income amount. That will be applied to the top of the costs.

Eligible costs will be tuition, residence, meal plan, books, start up costs, reasonable travel expenses and a computer. If you work with her on a budget it will help her understand being smart about money.

The split is still 1/3 to child and the rest split proportionate to income. Apply the RESP withdrawal to the 2/3 you two pay and then split proportionate to income. Figure all these costs out and then make an offer. The bottom line is your ex is not entitled to status quo when the child isnt there.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-11-2021, 12:45 PM
Gilligan Gilligan is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 274
Gilligan is on a distinguished road
Default

Thank you Rockscan, this seems to be inline with what I've read.

I think mom generally supports the child going away for university, but you are correct with there being a program locally, although it does not have the same prestige. Because mom appears to support it, I'm not 100% sure how much she will push the issue, as it will download much of the costs to the child and may require them to take on debt. I was thinking of hopefully lowering the child's obligation to 25% if the other party is in agreement.

At the crucks of the issue, if there is a current enforcement order for CS & S.7 and even through we have 50/50 access, should I be letting mom make all payments because of this order? I know if I don't pay the section 7 as they become due, I will be portrayed as a villain.

As well, the RESP is joint and requires 2 signatures. I will have to see if the other parent cooperates.

Given my last experience, I am also looking at retaining legal counsel to avoid any pitfalls, but this seems silly given the big upcoming expense.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-11-2021, 03:33 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 5,863
rockscan will become famous soon enoughrockscan will become famous soon enough
Default Post Secondary Expenses in a Shared Custody Sitaution

Quote:
I think mom generally supports the child going away for university, but you are correct with there being a program locally, although it does not have the same prestige.
Prestige is such bullshit. Ive hired students from various universities and the school made no difference. People play this game when it all depends on the kid and their performance. What happens if your daughter struggles being away from home? Has she thought about that?

Quote:
Because mom appears to support it, I'm not 100% sure how much she will push the issue, as it will download much of the costs to the child and may require them to take on debt. I was thinking of hopefully lowering the child's obligation to 25% if the other party is in agreement.
Dont because mom will expect you to pick up the slack. Your child is agreeing to this choice so they have an obligation. They would be going into debt anyway. If anything, suggest kid stay at home as the RESP will pretty much cover their education costs in full.

Quote:
At the crucks of the issue, if there is a current enforcement order for CS & S.7 and even through we have 50/50 access, should I be letting mom make all payments because of this order?
You could but then she could take you to court and say you arent paying. Review what your monthly amounts will be and what your share of the expense is. Not to mention by having a new order you can set an end date.


Quote:
As well, the RESP is joint and requires 2 signatures. I will have to see if the other parent cooperates.
more than likely mom will agree as the money is for the kids education. You could also discuss with the bank how to work it if mom decides to be difficult. You may end up needing an order to remove the requirement for her signature.

Quote:
this seems silly given the big upcoming expense.
Money always brings out the crazy. Buckle up!
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-11-2021, 08:38 PM
momof2teenboys momof2teenboys is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 147
momof2teenboys is on a distinguished road
Default

Here’s an alternate suggestion -

Offer a calculation based on each of you paying your share directly to the school instead of jumping to forcing enforcement through fro or returning to court.

Start with a proposal - Figure out the cost of tuition, residence/meal plan, books (can even just be an estimate for now). Assume there will be OSAP and have that come off the top. Suggest taking the RESP (withdraw 1/4 per year) and paying that towards the balance after OSAP grants (if any). Then child/mom/dad pay their share towards the amount owing. Child will have to contribute something - parents can decide the amount if you can leave it out of court. You know your child’s ability to pay - 20-30% is reasonable. (They can use employment/loans/savings) And then mom/dad divide the rest according to proportional income that you should already know from past expenses.
You have time for a few emails back and forth. Court (and even the threat of court) should be your last resort. Expensive and slow and a lot more stress for everyone.
If mom doesn’t agree with your suggestions see what she can suggest to get this figured out.

Don’t even touch on the subject of child support for now. Once child is settled at school, which may even be the closer to home option once they realize they have to pay too, then you can sort that out. Keep it separate and not a part of the discussion of post-secondary expenses.

If the discussion derails and it looks like you can’t agree on the split and how it’s paid then you’ll need to go to court. Though depending on how your current order is written you may just be able to enforce your reimbursements through fro.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-11-2021, 09:46 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 5,863
rockscan will become famous soon enoughrockscan will become famous soon enough
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by momof2teenboys View Post
Heres an alternate suggestion -

Offer a calculation based on each of you paying your share directly to the school instead of jumping to forcing enforcement through fro or returning to court.
The problem is they are already with FRO and mom can not only keep collecting the increased support amounts but also submit whatever she wants to claim as arrears. Then dad will have to go through the FRO dispute process which is not always successful and then leads to more costs he isnt obligated to pay.

The idea about asking mom what she suggests is good but when FRO is involved, nothing is easy.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-12-2021, 07:15 AM
Gilligan Gilligan is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 274
Gilligan is on a distinguished road
Default

I would love to do away with FRO and just put in our proportionate portion towards education and use the RESP accordingly. Not sure that mom will go with this because court has always been the preferred approach with her. When I spoke to my child last night, Mom fully supports the child's desire to attend school away, but will not respond to any of my request to discuss this and to confirm agreement. Apparently, she was there when the child applied to this particular program.

I'm a very involved father and have been encouraging the child on this and I don't have any desire to play these legal games. But I find myself in a corner without much support given the predicament I am in because of FRO / existing court orders.

Rockscan is correct, in that FRO is involved and will continue to collect and because it is off-set, it is just in one direction, despite the fact that it is supposed to be a joint contribution of both parents and equal obligation (proportionate to income). It shocks me that this doesn't get applied in such a way and that power and control is given only to one in the case of joint & 50/50 access.

I suspect that mom doesn't want to provide consent because she will ask me to pay the difference for a local program and any delay may result in her keeping CS already paid.

Any thoughts about tackling this alone, or does the complexity warrant bringing in legal counsel.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-12-2021, 08:59 AM
momof2teenboys momof2teenboys is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 147
momof2teenboys is on a distinguished road
Default

I think it’s worthwhile trying the email discussion beforehand. If mom is going to be as unreasonable and argumentative as you assume she is - your attempt to deal with it right now in a cooperative manner will only help you if/when you need to go to court. Worth a try (just keep the CS issue out of it until child is moved in and school has begun)
Keep it simple. Keep it friendly/civil.
“Hello X,
Just wanted to touch base and figure out how we will be paying for child’s school in the fall. We need to take a look at the OSAP application and see what’s needed for child to apply. Hopefully, he’ll receive a grant that can help bring down our costs and we also have the RESP to apply.
I was thinking about this for our calculation
Tuition + Books/Supplies + Residence + Meal plan
Less OSAP grant
Less RESP (1/4 for each year of the 4 year program)
Balance divided between us
Child 25%, Mom/Dad split according to income
Each of us can pay the school directly or reimburse child if he is paying for his books/supplies once at school
What do you think? Do you have a different idea of how to budget this? Can you let me know your thoughts by the end of next week?
Thanks!”

FRO will enforce orders that are in place. And even then they can get it wrong. If you don’t like how your order was written in regards to post-secondary you’re going to have to go back to court to change it. It’s long and slow and expensive. Make sure you’ve made every attempt to deal with this between you before you go that route. Even if she submits expenses and fights the costs through FRO and they add it to your case - you’ll deal with it with the motion to change AND be able to show how reasonable you’ve been.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-12-2021, 09:16 AM
momof2teenboys momof2teenboys is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 147
momof2teenboys is on a distinguished road
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilligan View Post

Any thoughts about tackling this alone, or does the complexity warrant bringing in legal counsel.
No need for a lawyer to deal with a change in child support based on child living away from home. But a few steps done in the correct order before you head to court will help.
Once child has moved away you will need to submit a request to change child support to FRO (there’s a specific form on their site). FRO will send her your request and give her a time limit to respond. Depending on her response it will either a) change with her agreement or b) have a different change that you’ll have time to respond to or c) not change and you’ll need to go to court. The FRO route alone will take 5 - 6 months
Then you’ll start the motion to change - estimate another 3 months at least before your first conference, then a few months before the next and if you continue to the motion another few months.
So a year or more before it’s taken care of. You can do most yourself (with maybe some help with forms/content along the way) but should have a lawyer represent you at the final motion, especially if you’re dealing with unresolved post-secondary expenses.
Expect to keep paying FRO what you have been paying until you reach the final decision or manage to get temporary orders through the process. It will take a while for it to all work through their system but you will receive a credit. If that credit is substantial you can have it written into your final order that mom has to pay rather than you receive a credit and then FRO will open a second case file with her as payor.
Worth your time to place as “nice” as possible and get some agreement on as many items as possible before you even get to this point. Absolutely.
Try to deal with the post-secondary now. Leave the child support issue until the fall and put it all together in the motion to change if she won’t agree on either issue.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-12-2021, 09:22 AM
rockscan rockscan is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 5,863
rockscan will become famous soon enoughrockscan will become famous soon enough
Default

You will need to send her written correspondence on the matter first. If she doesnt want to discuss reasonably, having your attempt in writing will help.

Your first step will be to figure out the estimated costs and work from there. The school website should have some financial information including expected residence fees. Also determine how many years of actual tuition kid will be paying. Your RESP withdrawal will include a taxable portion to the child. It is best to split this out over the years of study to reduce income tax impacts on your child. You may also need to discuss with your child her responsibilities. Her mother can tell her whatever but if you arent willing to pay more than you are obligated to, your kid is going to have a rude awakening. Also do a calculation on the resp withdrawal. If her program is three years, the split will be three.

Keep the correspondence short.

Dear ex,

With kid attending school away from home next year we will need to determine how the costs will be paid by the three of us. It is in kids best interest to work this out early to avoid any unnecessary stress.

Based on my research on the matter, the split will be 1/3 to kid with the remaining 2/3 split proportionate to our income. We also have the benefit of the RESP funds.

In my review of the schools financial page, estimated costs for her first year will be approximately $abc. I estimate books and start up costs to be $def for a total annual cost of $xyz. Kid is responsible for $xxx (1/3 the total cost) with the remaining split between us. With the resp funds, this leaves an expected split of $xxx to me and $yyy to you. I plan to pay the school directly.

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions.

Thank you,
Gilligan
____

The thing with your correspondence is this: if you have no plans to deviate from what most cases determine, there is no point in opening it up for her input. Even if she ignores you, you still have it out there. It does not matter what she thinks should happen or if she wants you to pay more, it wont fly.

You could also self rep for this since you arent asking for anything out of the ordinary. Or look into a limited scope retainer to have a lawyer review your documents.

I have to ask though...did you tell kid that her education would be paid for if she stayed home?
Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Tax Implications on Shared Custody LakeErie Divorce & Family Law 1 08-17-2011 06:13 PM
Shared Custody luv2luv Divorce & Family Law 15 10-14-2010 10:18 AM
Why 'shared' custody? sasha1 Political Issues 35 07-01-2010 12:17 AM
child and spousal support Catherine M Financial Issues 9 02-26-2007 06:32 PM
Post Secondary Education GGG Divorce & Family Law 2 11-08-2006 01:41 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 12:44 AM.