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  1. #1
    Epcot is offline Junior Member
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    Do I Have Any Recourse?

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Virginia.

    I have 22 months of child support left to pay and have never been late for 13 years. The support payments have always been very high (about 3 times the state requirement, we settled out of court, I essentially bribed her to have more time with my daughter) and currently equals nearly 35% of my net income, when you add the fact that I am also responsible for health insurance and costs it comes to nearly 50%. I have about $1,700 a month to live on and am in a very expensive area, this has been quite difficult.

    We have joint legal custody, she has physical custody.

    I was informed a few days ago by my ex that she will not pay a dime towards college or anything else for our daughter (she was witness to this) once she reaches the age of 18. The day after this she told her mother the exact opposite (her mother is wealthy and giving her money), that in fact I was the one who refused to pay anything for college. You can see what is going on here.

    Public university here is expensive, costs including room and board are around $22,000 and this would be about 66% of my net income. It would almost ruin me financially.

    Three Questions:

    1. How can I force the situation in a manner such that I have written confirmation of her intent not to pay anything for college? She is crafty and knows that anything said verbally can be retracted. Could I bring it up through a financial aid application?

    2. Assuming that I could achieve the first objective (or not) would I have a leg to stand on by going to court and asking either to have my support reduced or have 50% of it set aside for college. My ex is heavily in debt and clearly on the brink of bankruptcy, she is in no position to help in any substantive way with college at the moment.

    I am pretty sure there is not much I can do other than throw myself upon the mercy of the court. Given that my ex can change her story quite readily even this prospect seems dim. I am greatly saddened by this turn of events and think this illustrates perfectly why a custody system based on winners and losers is so destructive to the children involved. Those who receive money become dependent, those who pay struggle for years. The parent who has no other motivation than money then abandons the child when the ATM machine shuts down at age 18. So sad.
  2. #2
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Why isn't your daughter contributing to the cost of her post-secondary education?



    Do you actually have a court order saying that you and Mom are responsible for paying kiddo's way through college?
  3. #3
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Pay as much for college as you are comfortable with and let kiddo take out loans for the rest.
  4. #4
    Epcot is offline Junior Member
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    I'm not sure what is being asked here. Is the expectation that my daughter work at age 16 while going to high school and studying full time as well?

    Her academic credentials are impeccable, a straight "A" average, perfect or near perfect test scores, enrollment in advanced courses and at age 15 has already obtained her first IT certification.

    She wakes up at 5:30 a.m., gets out of school at 2:30 and often studies all the way to bedtime with only an hour break. Weekends are very busy preparing for exams and doing homework.

    Yes, summer work is a possibility, I'll check into that. It is just hard to say "sorry but your Mom has frittered away her money, so you have to work this summer", what an example we are setting.

    We have no court order, so this looks pretty hopeless. My only chance is to get support reduced, if I can show that Mom is near bankrupt and that I will be paying 100% for college, I may have a shot. I am thankful at least that I don't live in a State that would mandate my payments through age 22 because that would end any chances of her going to college.
  5. #5
    Epcot is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    Pay as much for college as you are comfortable with and let kiddo take out loans for the rest.
    At current rates I can pay about $1,500 per month comfortably, that would leave about $7,000 per year for a loan. As my daughter is doing so well in school and highly motivated I don't want her to worry at all about money so I'll make the loan payments as well (if we have to take out a loan). She is extremely responsible with money to the point that some relatives beg her to spend some on herself.
  6. #6
    Gracie3787 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epcot View Post
    I'm not sure what is being asked here. Is the expectation that my daughter work at age 16 while going to high school and studying full time as well?

    Her academic credentials are impeccable, a straight "A" average, perfect or near perfect test scores, enrollment in advanced courses and at age 15 has already obtained her first IT certification.

    She wakes up at 5:30 a.m., gets out of school at 2:30 and often studies all the way to bedtime with only an hour break. Weekends are very busy preparing for exams and doing homework.

    Yes, summer work is a possibility, I'll check into that. It is just hard to say "sorry but your Mom has frittered away her money, so you have to work this summer", what an example we are setting.

    We have no court order, so this looks pretty hopeless. My only chance is to get support reduced, if I can show that Mom is near bankrupt and that I will be paying 100% for college, I may have a shot. I am thankful at least that I don't live in a State that would mandate my payments through age 22 because that would end any chances of her going to college.
    What was being asked was: does your court order specify that you, mom, or both are court ordered to pay for daughter's college education?

    Since you've said that you are not court ordered to pay, you have the options of paying all, paying some, paying none.

    What does your court order state regarding at what age CS ends?
    Whatever that age is is going to be when daughter is an adult. from that point forward neither you nor Mom are legally required to pay for anything.
    If you really want to contribute after CS ends simply pay for what you can afford.
    However, you won't be able to go back to court and get an order for Mom to contribute.
  7. #7
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epcot View Post
    It is just hard to say "sorry but your Mom has frittered away her money, so you have to work this summer", what an example we are setting.
    You don't say that. You tell her that getting a job will give her something productive to do, and give her money to save or to do fun things with over the summer, and will be good experience for the future. There are plenty of reasons to get work experience that have nothing to do with trash-talking about mom.
  8. #8
    Proserpina is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecmst12 View Post
    You don't say that. You tell her that getting a job will give her something productive to do, and give her money to save or to do fun things with over the summer, and will be good experience for the future. There are plenty of reasons to get work experience that have nothing to do with trash-talking about mom.

    Absolutely!
  9. #9
    proud_parent is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Epcot View Post
    I'm not sure what is being asked here. Is the expectation that my daughter work at age 16 while going to high school and studying full time as well?
    Sounds good to me. That's exactly what I did. 10-20 hours per week during the school year and full time during summers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Epcot View Post
    Her academic credentials are impeccable, a straight "A" average, perfect or near perfect test scores, enrollment in advanced courses and at age 15 has already obtained her first IT certification.
    Excellent! With those credentials, she should be very competitive for a number of scholarships.

    Quote Originally Posted by Epcot View Post
    She wakes up at 5:30 a.m., gets out of school at 2:30 and often studies all the way to bedtime with only an hour break. Weekends are very busy preparing for exams and doing homework.
    OK. I personally never studied that much until I was in college. But good for her, that sort of discipline will serve her well in the future.

    Quote Originally Posted by Epcot View Post
    Yes, summer work is a possibility, I'll check into that.
    Why not have your daughter check into that? I admit, my Dad drove me to my first job interview, and sat in the car waiting for me to finish. But I had to make the appointment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Epcot View Post
    It is just hard to say "sorry but your Mom has frittered away her money, so you have to work this summer",
    So don't say it. Instead, tell her that given her outstanding academic performance and her demonstrated responsibility with money, you are confident that she is ready for a summer job. It will be a great learning experience and will look good on her college applications.

    Quote Originally Posted by Epcot View Post
    what an example we are setting.
    My parents worked hard their entire lives, but never earned enough to make contributing to my college education even remotely possible for them. Through their example, I learned to work dilligently, spend frugally, and to plan carefully. I will be forever grateful to them for setting me on the path to self-sufficiency.

    Quote Originally Posted by Epcot View Post
    We have no court order, so this looks pretty hopeless. My only chance is to get support reduced, if I can show that Mom is near bankrupt and that I will be paying 100% for college, I may have a shot. I am thankful at least that I don't live in a State that would mandate my payments through age 22 because that would end any chances of her going to college.
    Part-time and summer jobs.
    Scholarships.
    Grants.
    Loans.

    I did it. Many others have done it. If your daughter is as motivated to succeed as you say, she can do it.

    Don't sell your child short.
  10. #10
    stealth2 is offline Senior Member
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    Wow - so princess shouldn't have to work at all? Wow. If her grades are impeccable, she should be in good shape to get scholarships. Depending on the numbers going into the FAFSA, she may get decent financial aid. But... that should not negate her contributing in some way, shape, or form to her college expenses.

    I have a kid going to college this Fall. Because of a loophole in our order (I wish I'd seen it earlier), his other parent is not contributing. So be it. It hasn't deterred my young man at all - he knows I will help as I can, but he has been working nights and weekends, and will work all summer, to make up the shortfall. (He has worked every summer since he was 15.) He's prepared to take out loans, if needed. While maintaining an excellent academic record. His education will mean all the more to him *because* he is helping pay for it. You might want to think about that.

    LOL And be glad you have some advance notice on this. I found out ~2mos ago.
  11. #11
    GinAA is offline Member
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    My son took a year off after graduating high school to work. When he decided to go to college, he did all the applications himself. The only thing he asked from us was a way to get there. We gave him the use of a vehicle.
    I think it means more to him to do well in school becuase it's his butt if he messes up. He is doing well, much better than he ever did in high school. We are very proud of him.
  12. #12
    The_Non-Mom is offline Member
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    I took a year off after high school to go to work (and get married). I ended up paying for my bachelors with cash and grants. It took me nearly six years, and I worked full-time jobs the entire time I was in school. Got divorced, moved to Chicago, sometimes only took two classes in a semester because that was all I could afford. Lived on Ramen most of the time.

    But guess what? I did it. I did it all by myself without a dime from my parents and with NO student loans when I graduated.....with a decent GPA.

    OP, let Daughter find her own way to college. She sounds like a very capable girl who can handle the challenge of applying and paying for her own schooling.
  13. #13
    candg918 is offline Member
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    Many students begin at their local community college for two years and transfer to a major university for the last two years.

    Investigate programs for scholars at your state department of education. Many of the lesser known state colleges offer great educations and have excellent scholarship opportunities to attract exceptional students.

    Financial aid packages often include work-study options on campus which is not enough to pay major bills but will cover incidental expenses.

    Have her consider ROTC or the reserves or state National Guard. All have education benefits.

    No matter what people tell high school students, costs are a major issue in deciding where they can attend. There is much hype about elite schools but graduates from other institutions are very successful while some graduates of elite schools are not. Remember that there is always graduate school as a time to go elsewhere.
  14. #14
    Cainlord is offline Member
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    There is nothing wrong with going to a 2 year college or one that is sound academically but not high pricewise. If she has the grades that you proclaim, she should have no issue at least getting some sort of scholarships to help cover the cost, either partially, mostly, or event entirely. The trick is to have her go after the low hanging ones as well as the bigger scholarships. Many people neglect these simple ones that are $250 a semester here, or $500 dollars there.

    Since she spends so much time studying, etc. make it a point that she should also spend time on that.

    And if you want to help her out, its up to you. don't be guilt tripped into paying for college if you can't or don't want to. Kids learn to appreciate there education more when they know its there money on the line. Trust me on this, seen plenty of those on a fund from there parents spend most of there time drinking it up and being promiscuous than studying.

    Best bet I have see is what my mother in law did with her kids, she help them get loans even if the official loan was going basically back to her (don't know the specifics, but they were loans), and the kids were responsible for them.

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