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

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Old 08-04-2010, 02:12 PM
paulsc paulsc is offline
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Default University Cost Contribution of Child

My 18 yo son is set to begin university this fall and I have a question that can hopefully be answered. In our seperation agreement, the clause regarding contribution of each of us to his education ends with "...Subject to the children's ability to contribute towards the costs."

I feel very strongly that he should be contributing something towards his education and not allowing all the burden to fall on both his mother and I. I have the larger income and therefore the larger proportion of costs to bear as well. She has sole custody and has unilaterally decided that he will not contribute anything towards his university education other than his discretionary spending on things such as activities and social life.

My question revolves around the above statement in the seperation agreement. Does his mother have the right to say he is contributing nothing and thereby increasing what my contribution ends up being even though he is able to contribute towards the costs?
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:26 PM
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No she does not.
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:46 PM
paulsc paulsc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dadtotheend View Post
No she does not.
Thank you.

Is there any set amount a child is expected to contribute or what would be considered a reasonable amount of contribution?
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:08 PM
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I've heard 1/3, but don't quote me on that. The CS guidelines state that the student (your son) must exhaust all sources of funds, like savings from work, scholorships, bursaries, etc. before determining the parents' contribution. From there, you may have to pay half, or you may have to pay proportionally to income.

You could also figure that a child can work for at least 3 summers before university, so 9 weeks times 3 years is 27 weeks. If they made $10/hr, that would equal $10800, less deductions, which would be minimal. That would leave the student with $10,000 for first year. After that, they should be able to work for 4 months a year, or 17 weeks, so that's $6800 per year, less CPP and EI. That should be enough for 1/2 the school year, unless he's in engineering or one of the other de-regulated programs, which would probably cost about $6-6500 in tuition and books alone.

Either way, he should have saved up enough to almost pay for the first year and should make enough to pay for about half of the next 3 years. I also think that he might be able to get student loans too. I think that it's important for students to pay for their own education, at least in part. I don't think that it's unreasonable to expect a child to pay for 2/3 of their education, even if they have to take out student loans, but I'm not a judge.
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:13 PM
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Unfortuneately, he has not worked up until this summer (he turned down a very good job that my wife got for him last summer that he could have earned $4 to $5 thousand with the blessing of his mother )

I have proposed he be responsible for 20% of his education costs this year with the balance covered by his mother and I proportionate to our incomes as per the sep agreement and she has said no, he will be paying nothing.
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:17 PM
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Is the child expected to contribute if there is an RESP that covers all costs?
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Old 08-04-2010, 03:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frustratedwithex View Post
Is the child expected to contribute if there is an RESP that covers all costs?
His mother did open an RESP but I doubt very much that there is enough in it to cover all the costs.
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Old 08-04-2010, 08:38 PM
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What are your thoughts on this. I am open to honest opinion as I really am not sure if Im being unreasonable at this point. My daughter is 23. She was raped at 17 and in an abusive relationship at 18 and 19...it took a few years to get her head on straight and regain her confidence...she had a lot of miss steps and was in and out of jobs. She is now in college full time and doing really well. Her father doesnt feel responsible to help out with support and is fighting me every step of the way. I think she has been through enough and should be able to finish debt free because between us we can make that happen...with her paying her fair share from the grant portion of her OSAP.

This is going to trial and I just dont understand how he can allow his animosity toward me be his primary focus after all she has been through....he just continues to try to deny her experienced happened or to minimize them.
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Old 08-04-2010, 09:31 PM
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  • He hates you and is willing to hurt his daughter to get at you
  • He legitimately believes that she needs to learn to support herself
  • He is angry and resentful but has bottled it up inside and rationalizes to himself that he is doing this for sound logical reasons.
Pick one, I don't know the man.
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Old 08-04-2010, 10:28 PM
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You must have met in a previous life. I would say all three apply. But I vascilate on going forward with the trial. I think it has become a battle of wills now but she deserves to have her parents support through school. It isnt her fault that her life was thrown in to a tail spin in high school preventing her from going straight in to college. He should be happy for the short reprieve and be ecstatic that she has moved forward.
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