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

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  #1  
Old 04-19-2015, 03:11 PM
JCL JCL is offline
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Default Section 7 Expenses Post-Secondary College Tuition

Hi folks,

Looking for some collective wisdom, so I'm trying to start a new thread. I'm in the process of registering with MEP and want to know if anyone can answer some of my questions.

Background:

Divorce is final, but ex has just decided to stop paying son's US college tuition. Long backstory with prep school in another province for 2 years, to support family plan to send son to US college to play NCAA sport. Now is finishing 2nd year of college , honour roll, starting lineup on team, etc. Have emails to support ex's involvement in the process with the college, stated how much he'd be willing to pay, how much he planned to set aside in TFSA, etc. Ex was recently audited by CRA for incorrectly claiming his CS payments as tax deductible. Got angry that he's not getting any deductions and coincidentally decided to only pay equal amount of the tuition of our other child who attends university locally and lives with me (though will likely have to go elsewhere for graduate work), so the cost differential is enormous. When I read through CanLii, Farden Factors seem to be in our son's favour. Divorce judgement lists proportionate percentages for Section 7 costs. Is this enough detail for MEP? Can I register with MEP, include my Divorce Judgement, as well as an invoice showing that the tuition has been paid this last semester, along with my cancelled cheques? Or do I need to go to court, to get a new order detailing the actual arrears?
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Old 04-19-2015, 04:43 PM
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I believe MEP and FRO both require same/similar wording in the Order so perhaps someone on here with experience with FRO can help.
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Old 04-19-2015, 05:20 PM
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We have this issue.

FRO will NOT (I repeat NOT) enforce anything that isnt strictly laid out in your order. Which means if your order doesnt say something like NAME is responsible for $2000 tuition, $2000 residence and $2000 books, you are out of luck trying to get it back.

My best advice is this: calculate the entire cost of school for kid 1 (U.S. Kid) at the Canadian exchange rate. Subtract any grants, bursaries etc from that cost. (If kid was awarded a scholarship technically that is supposed to cover his portion of the costs). Next divide it in 3. 1/3 is kids cost (scholarship--if the scholarship is more than his portion, take the extra off the 2/3). This is where it gets tricky...our lawyer calculated the remaining 2/3 minus the tax benefits but some people on this forum lost their minds that the tax benefit goes to the kid. Also, not sure how taxes work for U.S. Schools. You can calculate it both ways. You reduce the 2/3 by the tax benefit. Then take that total and calculate his proportionate share. Thats total 1.

Do the same for kid 2. Total cost of tuition, books, other fees, travel if she has to drive etc. (you wont calculate living expenses as shes at home). Thats total 2.

Next you calculate CS for kid 1 as four months full table (if he comes home) and divide it by 12. Add that amount to the monthly CS for kid 2. Go back and calculate the last whatever amount of months he hasnt being paying this amount.

You take totals 1 and 2 and add them together. You then either add or subtract the CS amount.

You then take the amount (show your calculations) and you tell him this is what he owes and if he doesnt accept it you will be filing a motion to recover these costs by MEP.

You also call a lawyer as youre going to need a new court order for all these costs going forward.

All is just my advice but this is how our lawyer laid it out and how we're calculating. My partner is the payor and the ex refuses to supply receipts etc. when she does, this is how we were instructed to calculate it by our lawyer.

Bottom line, without a proper order, these agencies do jack squat. You can try to submit but he'll probably reject it.
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Old 04-19-2015, 05:34 PM
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Whew...thanks for that info! You kind of confirmed my worst fears...that I need to complete an affidavit for my lawyer essentially proving the Farden Factors, get a court order detailing the arrears and then give that to MEP? I've already tried reasoning with him directly, so giving him the calculations is fruitless. I've also explained to him that our Divorce Judgment lists the Section 7 as proportionate to income, so he may actually have to pay more than the 1/3 that we mutually agreed upon as well as legal costs for breaching the agreement. Just trying to figure out how specific MEP needs the order to be. Thanks for your help with this.
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Old 04-19-2015, 05:54 PM
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Just to add...I dont know how offers to settle, reasonable offers or costs work. I said all this above so you can calculate a reasonable offer and provide it to him. You give him this chance. I remember you saying that its been a struggle to get him to agree to any of this so you will more than likely have to go to court. Having it all calculated and showing youre being reasonable will help.

What happened to him means nothing to his obligations. You have an order that he has to pay. It doesnt matter what he thinks. Remember he also thought he could get away with claiming shit he wasnt allowed. Just do what you can to be reasonable and up front but definitely call a lawyer and start moving forward on getting the proper orders for MEP to do this work for you. From the sounds of it you will need it. Getting that stuff moving will also assist.

You will need an order for these costs. Thats your bottom line. You will need to have specific costs broken down. My thinking is that getting in front of this with all your calculations will help you in the long run.
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Old 04-19-2015, 05:56 PM
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Default Section 7 Expenses Post-Secondary College Tuition

Youre not going to get anywhere with MEP. These agencies do nothing unless you have an order that says "he will pay XXX" they wont do anything. Get your calculations together and file the motion for payment and costs going forward. Then you'll just submit it all to MEP and they do the recovery.

I dont know anything about the Farden Factors. All I know is that there is case law and guidelines that outline what parents are responsible for. Every case is unique of course but theres a bottom line that he has to pay a share. He cant get away with paying nothing.
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Old 04-19-2015, 06:54 PM
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Thanks for the information; much appreciated!
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Old 04-19-2015, 07:29 PM
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rockscan - I'm curious about this area (I have no personal experience in this area) and logged on to MEP Alberta and found the attached information regarding the enforcement of section 7. Is FRO different than MEP? Please scan through and let me know if you think the OP still has to do what you had to do:

https://justice.alberta.ca/programs_...n7Expenses.pdf


From reading the online information one would think that the OP just has to amass her receipts, file her Order and MEP will take care of everything. Am I delusional?

Thanks
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Old 04-19-2015, 07:38 PM
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Default Section 7 Expenses Post-Secondary College Tuition

That info does change things. From my reading of that info all JCL needs is an order outlining what portion of the expense.

For instance, if your order says something like "NAME is responsible for 50% of tuition, residence and equipment for both children for one degree" then from that document, MEP will enforce it.

The question is, what does your order say?

FRO doesnt do this. They dont even calculate anything but what is in the order. If CS is supposed to go up or down, new order needed. If you have S7 expenses and your ordersays 40%, the believe you when you submit the statement of arrears calculated that way. If its wrong, the payor can reject it.

Last edited by rockscan; 04-19-2015 at 07:41 PM.
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Old 04-19-2015, 07:42 PM
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There is also a section in the "Lawyer's Guide" MEP online site which refers to the section 7.

https://justice.alberta.ca/programs_...wyersGuide.pdf

Good to see that those Alberta civil servants are working for their pay.
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