Blended Families

BM and college tuition split, I don't even know where to begin

I'm going to try to keep this brief (haha, we'll see). I don't know yet if I am asking for advice or if I am venting, so I apologize in advance.

Here is the situation.  In the divorce settlement for DH and BM, regarding college tuition it states that each parent will pay, "to the best of their ability (taking into account expenses, etc.)".  There is no split percentage defined, which is really a huge problem. I know this issue should have been dealt with preemptively, well before a month prior to SD2 starting her freshman year of college. But it wasn't. Please don't get me started on that conversation.

It also clearly states that if SD2 lives away from home while in college, that child support will be reduced by half.  If she lives at home, there would be no reduction. 

SD2 will be attending a state school in the fall and will live on campus. She has received some money for financial aid, as well as being offered 2 different loans, one subsidized and one unsubsidized (which her mother does not want to accept).  All of that together reduces the tuition to roughly 1/2, which is wonderful, but what is left is not pocket change.

In addition, DH's father has been funding a 529 plan for each of his grandchildren which is a huge help, and we are very grateful for this.  DH has been keeping close track of what has gone out for SD1 (she has only gone to school for one semester in a community college and her expenses have been much lower. She also spent a), and now that we know what SD2s tuition is, he calculated how we can spread it out across 4 years and keep yearly costs down for us and for BM. 

Historically, their split has been 55/45% for medical and other expenses.  He sent her a proposal of how this split would look. She immediately rejected it and threw many barbed, baiting comments at him (which he does not respond to) and said he should consult his attorney. 

He also calculated it with the reduction in child support which brings it to 58/42%, so she could see that.  Of course in her response she said "I do not agree to a reduction in child support".  Well duh, of course she doesn't agree, that is why there is a divorce decree.   He found out today (something else I asked him to research months ago) that he just needs to submit a form to the court with their divorce decree to get this process started.  Then of course, she gets to rebut. I foresee a long drawn out process with this. 

I am just so frustrated and pissed at the entire situation.  The procrastination in getting out in front of this by my husband is one thing, but the combativeness on her part on anything we have ever had to deal with financially is another.  And he will of course pay his share, which may end up being higher than that split.  But in reading through the craziness in her emails, she is pretty much saying, your dad is a wonderful provider, you haven't done sh!t, and I'm not offering to do anything. I refuse to be bullied into offering to pay more when there is no attempt on her part to negotiate.  So we have no choice but to pay out money for an attorney, which is going to affect the cash that we have set aside for college.

If DH had sent her a note saying that he would be paying for everything, she would have found a problem with that too. And while it makes no sense to speculate on this, I am sure that if her father had provided any contribution towards their education, she would be claiming that as her own, which DH is not even thinking about doing.

There was something else i was going to type, but I can't remember what it was and this is long enough.  Thank you for reading and for any feedback.

 

TTC since 3/2010. Me 41, DH-49. After 3 years, 6 IUIs and several IVFs we have finally have our beautiful baby girl, born on 11/7/13.



Re: BM and college tuition split, I don't even know where to begin

  • I'm going to get flamed for this, but I think it is total and complete BS that DH and BM are ordered to contribute towards college.  Total crap.  Intact families aren't ordered to pay for college, why stick that obligation on divorced parents?  If your SD was able to qualify for financial aide and a couple of student loans, they need to be used.  BM (and DH) shouldn't have a say in what loans SD uses or doesn't use.  Was this matter stipulated during the divorce process or did a Judge actually tell DH and BM that they have to pay for SD's college?

    As for the CS stipulation, again total crap.  CS ends when the child turns 18 or graduates H.S., whichever is last.  Why was CS ordered beyond those timeframes?  Is this something that DH willingly agreed to?  Since the CO is what it is, SD2 is living on campus and that's that.  BM doesn't have to agree to a reduction in CS, DH is entitled to one.

    If I'm reading your post correctly, the parents are supposed to contribute "to the best of their ability".  If DH feels that what he is offering is to the best of his ability, so be it.  If BM has a problem with that then too bad.  If she's not willing to contribute towards the college tuition then hopefully SD2 can get another loan or get a job to help pay for school.

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  • Why can't SD take out student loans?  I don't really know the answer to your question or how to help you in any way, the STUDENT taking the loan out is what is best.  Why wouldn't she at least take the subsidized loan (I believe that one is when in school the govn't pays for interest accumulated or something like that)?  The good thing is that financial aid is filled out every year so she can always accept loans in the upcoming years.

    This is something that an attorney will probably need to get involved because BM won't be happy with anything.  Putting such a vague explanation in the CO is ridiculous....it doesn't even say that the parents between them have to pay 100%...just what is to the best of their ability.  So if your H's "best of his ability" is $2000 a semester, then its $2000 a semester.  What does what H pay have anything to do with what BM pays and vice versa?

    Also, why is he still paying child support if your SDs have graduated HS and are adults?

    ETA: Rereading your post and thinking about it, your SD should also have some stake in everything and is the student.  Why can't BM tell her what she can contribute, H tells SD what he is contributing, and then she will have to figure out what she has to take in loans? 

    Also, if the parents want to help with college expenses more, why can't it be an option that they help pay the student loans?  For example you might not have a lot of extra money right this very moment, but a few years from now you might have paid a car off, not have daycare expenses, etc and have the extra $100 a month down the line to help make the student loan payments.

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  • image jobalchak:

    I'm going to get flamed for this, but I think it is total and complete BS that DH and BM are ordered to contribute towards college.  Total crap.  Intact families aren't ordered to pay for college, why stick that obligation on divorced parents?  If your SD was able to qualify for financial aide and a couple of student loans, they need to be used.  BM (and DH) shouldn't have a say in what loans SD uses or doesn't use.  Was this matter stipulated during the divorce process or did a Judge actually tell DH and BM that they have to pay for SD's college?

    As for the CS stipulation, again total crap.  CS ends when the child turns 18 or graduates H.S., whichever is last.  Why was CS ordered beyond those timeframes?  Is this something that DH willingly agreed to?  Since the CO is what it is, SD2 is living on campus and that's that.  BM doesn't have to agree to a reduction in CS, DH is entitled to one.

    If I'm reading your post correctly, the parents are supposed to contribute "to the best of their ability".  If DH feels that what he is offering is to the best of his ability, so be it.  If BM has a problem with that then too bad.  If she's not willing to contribute towards the college tuition then hopefully SD2 can get another loan or get a job to help pay for school.

    very well said and I agree, especially to the college tuition part. If the parent can help, so be it but it shouldn't be expected just because they are not an intact family.

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  • IIRC NJ has a weird CS law that requires it through college/21 something like that.
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  • image hopecounts:
    IIRC NJ has a weird CS law that requires it through college/21 something like that.

    Interesting. Well 1. BM can't just say that she doesn't want CS lowered because, hello, it says in the divorce decree 2. Again...what you guys pay has nothing to do with what she pays...it doesn't say it needs to be covered 100%  I would talk to your attorney to see what he says.  Just because BM doesn't want to contribute doesn't mean your H should contribute above "the best of his ability".  Its selfish of her to want more CS still because that is less that could be given to SD towards college/expenses.

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  • image MelRC117:

    image hopecounts:
    IIRC NJ has a weird CS law that requires it through college/21 something like that.

    Interesting. Well 1. BM can't just say that she doesn't want CS lowered because, hello, it says in the divorce decree 2. Again...what you guys pay has nothing to do with what she pays...it doesn't say it needs to be covered 100%  I would talk to your attorney to see what he says.  Just because BM doesn't want to contribute doesn't mean your H should contribute above "the best of his ability".  Its selfish of her to want more CS still because that is less that could be given to SD towards college/expenses.

    The bold is what I would really push.  That extra $100 or whatever a month could go towards SD's tuition, food, supplies, lab fees, etc. 

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  • This is a DH issue because he allowed it to happen to him in the first place.  

    All I would say is that you sit down and figure out what YOUR budget (ie what he can afford out of his income after he has covered what is necessity in your home) can allow and be done with it.

    Because in an intact family, college expenses are paid for out of what the familial budget can afford.

     

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  • How and why did SD enroll in classes without now in how it was being paid for. Beyond the mistakes Mom and Dad made I would love to know how these conversations happened where SD did not even ask her parents if they were contributing and she just assumed. Did DH ever tell her he was paying.

    To me te CO says that it is at the parents will and nothing says that BM and DH need to cover 100 percent. He should give what he plans on giving and help his DD find says to pay for the rest.
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  • Flame away if you like, but I would take what DH's dad saved in the 529 and count that in DH's percentage, not use it to level the entire cost and reduce BM's contribution.  She did not contribute to the 529, and wants to play dirty in the sandbox.  Take your 529 and go home - then let her know that the 55/45 split is fine.  She pays 45% of the TOTAL, not the total less 529.
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  • image jobalchak:

    I'm going to get flamed for this, but I think it is total and complete BS that DH and BM are ordered to contribute towards college.  Total crap.  Intact families aren't ordered to pay for college, why stick that obligation on divorced parents?  If your SD was able to qualify for financial aide and a couple of student loans, they need to be used.  BM (and DH) shouldn't have a say in what loans SD uses or doesn't use.  Was this matter stipulated during the divorce process or did a Judge actually tell DH and BM that they have to pay for SD's college?

    As for the CS stipulation, again total crap.  CS ends when the child turns 18 or graduates H.S., whichever is last.  Why was CS ordered beyond those timeframes?  Is this something that DH willingly agreed to?  Since the CO is what it is, SD2 is living on campus and that's that.  BM doesn't have to agree to a reduction in CS, DH is entitled to one.

    If I'm reading your post correctly, the parents are supposed to contribute "to the best of their ability".  If DH feels that what he is offering is to the best of his ability, so be it.  If BM has a problem with that then too bad.  If she's not willing to contribute towards the college tuition then hopefully SD2 can get another loan or get a job to help pay for school.

    You will get no flames from me, I completely agree. It's BS.  I am the oldest of 5 kids and I never felt I was entitled to a free ride. I got a scholarship for 2 years of jr. college, then transferred to a state school where I took out student loans that my father helped me with until I graduated, and one of them I paid while in school. Otherwise, I wouldn't have been able to go.  So you are preaching to the choir.  I have always felt it was unfair that many divorced dads I knew were told what they had to pay.

    As far as the loans go, BM has been awful in her push back about that.  She thinks that since SD has worked so hard in school (and she has) that she should not be penalized by taking out a loan. Um, ok, that still doesn't mean that her parents can afford the balance of her tuition.  Either one.  DH wants SD to have some skin in the game, and is planning on laying the plan for the loan out for her tomorrow night.  Apparently SD has to sign to accept the loan terms since it is in her name.  He said that if she pushes back, he will take a hard line approach with her.  (I was surprised but pleased to hear him say that).  She has been hearing from her mother that she shouldn't have debt when she gets out of school . The amount of debt that she would have with the unsubsidized loan is a gift. People would kill for that little debt at the end.

    It's BM's delusions that has created this sense of entitlement with both of her daughters.  In her mind, my husband makes $250K a year, and she is a lowly teacher who makes "dirt".  Believe me,we don't make that much combined. She gets 9 years of Alimony (just over 1 year left, tick tick tick tick) and child support for one daughter (the older one was emancipated last year at 19). 

    In NJ, child support does not stop automatically at 18, even if the child isn't in school.  It's not that cut and dry, unfortunately. I believe that in this case, it ends after college graduation. 

    TTC since 3/2010. Me 41, DH-49. After 3 years, 6 IUIs and several IVFs we have finally have our beautiful baby girl, born on 11/7/13.



  • image jobalchak:
    image MelRC117:

    image hopecounts:
    IIRC NJ has a weird CS law that requires it through college/21 something like that.

    Interesting. Well 1. BM can't just say that she doesn't want CS lowered because, hello, it says in the divorce decree 2. Again...what you guys pay has nothing to do with what she pays...it doesn't say it needs to be covered 100%  I would talk to your attorney to see what he says.  Just because BM doesn't want to contribute doesn't mean your H should contribute above "the best of his ability".  Its selfish of her to want more CS still because that is less that could be given to SD towards college/expenses.

    The bold is what I would really push.  That extra $100 or whatever a month could go towards SD's tuition, food, supplies, lab fees, etc. 

    To Jobalchak's point, yes it's in the divorce decree, but she doesn't think she needs to pay attention to that, and wants to hash it out in court. DH is filing that tomorrow. It doesn't  have to be done in relation to this tuition split issue.

    And yes, the extra money from CS would go to cover college expenses, that is the plan.

    TTC since 3/2010. Me 41, DH-49. After 3 years, 6 IUIs and several IVFs we have finally have our beautiful baby girl, born on 11/7/13.



  • image 2chatter:
    Flame away if you like, but I would take what DH's dad saved in the 529 and count that in DH's percentage, not use it to level the entire cost and reduce BM's contribution.  She did not contribute to the 529, and wants to play dirty in the sandbox.  Take your 529 and go home - then let her know that the 55/45 split is fine.  She pays 45% of the TOTAL, not the total less 529.

    No flames from me, I completely agree. Irish - your DH's dad putting $ towards a 529 should NOT reduce BM's obligation also. She wants to play dirty then play along and don't feel bad for it.

    And no flames toward Jo either. While I personally believe that college is incredibly important and parents should do everything they possibly can to help their child get a college education, it is certainly not an obligation.

    And it sounds like the CO doesn't stipulate that your DH and BM are required to cover 100% of the costs. Figure out your budget, including the reduced CS amount. Then give what you can to help. If BM can't or won't cover what's left then looks like SD will have to take out some loans after all. At least it will help her learn credit responsibility.

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  • image Littlejen22:
    How and why did SD enroll in classes without now in how it was being paid for. Beyond the mistakes Mom and Dad made I would love to know how these conversations happened where SD did not even ask her parents if they were contributing and she just assumed. Did DH ever tell her he was paying. To me te CO says that it is at the parents will and nothing says that BM and DH need to cover 100 percent. He should give what he plans on giving and help his DD find says to pay for the rest.

    There is obviously a complete inability to coparent in this situation and it has always been this way.  While there was never a question that SD would be able to enroll in classes at this particular college because we knew that as a state school, it was a manageable tuition, even if the 529 didn't go as far as it does, though we might have to take out loans (who doesn't)  He was not consulted about her choices about places to apply (though the CO states clearly that he should be), SD just told him where she visited, and they had some discussions, but her final 3 choices of schools to apply were 2 schools that cost $60K, (which would NEVER have been possible without a scholarship), and this state school.  It was the only one she got accepted to.   My understanding is that DH did set an expectation with SD that unless she got a lot of help with the other schools, it would not be possible for her to go to either of them. I was not there for that conversation but he did say he had discussions with her about it, because I was in his ear frequently saying that he should tell her up front so there were no tears later.

    DH has never told SD it would be paid in full with out loans, he does not know what has been said by BM though we can speculate,  but she has always made the girls fully aware of the money in this 529 plan which I have never thought was appropriate, because it has given them a false sense of both entitlement to fully paid tuition, as well as a false sense of security.  BTW, she applied to 2 colleges that cost $60K a year, (he was not asked for any input

    Thanks for the perspective on the CO and it not saying that it has to be paid 100%.  Because it says nothing about other payment options (such as the student taking out loans, etc.) I keep looking at it like we have to find a way to come up with 100% if a judge says no loans have to be taken out by SD or BM.  DH feels that a judge would feel it was reasonable for a student to take on some responsibility for their education.  Who can ever tell what a family court judge is going to think? From reading some of  the rulings on this board, it's not something you can predict.

    We'll be retaining a lawyer in the next week and hopefully this won't get too drawn out. 

     

    TTC since 3/2010. Me 41, DH-49. After 3 years, 6 IUIs and several IVFs we have finally have our beautiful baby girl, born on 11/7/13.



  • image 2chatter:
    Flame away if you like, but I would take what DH's dad saved in the 529 and count that in DH's percentage, not use it to level the entire cost and reduce BM's contribution.  She did not contribute to the 529, and wants to play dirty in the sandbox.  Take your 529 and go home - then let her know that the 55/45 split is fine.  She pays 45% of the TOTAL, not the total less 529.

    I agree! I would love for DH to think like this, but I don't think he will go there unless he gets a lawyer to tell him he has a really good chance of winning at that attempt. I suggested this to him today, and he said he thinks it's a week case. I said, maybe it is but just ask the damn question!   Even if he is told that he could do it, I don't know if he would do it.   I told him that I would like to see him be more of a pr1ck when dealing with an issue where she wants to take him to court. 

    I also know that once this whole thing gets rolling, SD will be hearing about it from her mom with, and he will want to avoid her having to hear about all of this stuff about her college tuition while trying to focus on school.  To that I say, that's a nice intention, but she won't be living at home so don't worry about it.

    TTC since 3/2010. Me 41, DH-49. After 3 years, 6 IUIs and several IVFs we have finally have our beautiful baby girl, born on 11/7/13.



  • image 2chatter:
    Flame away if you like, but I would take what DH's dad saved in the 529 and count that in DH's percentage, not use it to level the entire cost and reduce BM's contribution.  She did not contribute to the 529, and wants to play dirty in the sandbox.  Take your 529 and go home - then let her know that the 55/45 split is fine.  She pays 45% of the TOTAL, not the total less 529.

    Kinda sorta this...

    I think DH should leave the 529 account out of the equation and see what he can afford to contribute.  I'm not 100% sure how 529's work, but would SD be able to use that to pay back her loans later?  That way the money could stay in the account and accrue some more interest? 

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  • image jobalchak:
    I'm going to get flamed for this, but I think it is total and complete BS that DH and BM are ordered to contribute towards college. nbsp;Total crap. nbsp;Intact families aren't ordered to pay for college, why stick that obligation on divorced parents? nbsp;If your SD was able to qualify for financial aide and a couple of student loans, they need to be used. nbsp;BM and DH shouldn't have a say in what loans SD uses or doesn't use. nbsp;Was this matter stipulated during the divorce process or did a Judge actually tell DH and BM that they have to pay for SD's college?As for the CS stipulation, again total crap. nbsp;CS ends when the child turns 18 or graduates H.S., whichever is last. nbsp;Why was CS ordered beyond those timeframes? nbsp;Is this something that DH willingly agreed to? nbsp;Since the CO is what it is, SD2 is living on campus and that's that. nbsp;BM doesn't have to agree to a reduction in CS, DH is entitled to one.If I'm reading your post correctly, the parents are supposed to contribute "to the best of their ability". nbsp;If DH feels that what he is offering is to the best of his ability, so be it. nbsp;If BM has a problem with that then too bad. nbsp;If she's not willing to contribute towards the college tuition then hopefully SD2 can get another loan or get a job to help pay for school.


    No flames I agree. I also don't understand why you would need to pay child support for a child who lives independently...how is the parent supporting the child if they don't live in the same household? Weird
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  • 1) I have  never understood the whole concept of agreeing to pay for college written into a CO.  Especially since you have NO CLUE what it could cost !!!

    2) Child support should stop when the child is no longer living primarly in the household that receives the support.   DH  agreed to CS thru age 23! ( why, I have no clue!) BUT...we are paying for SS college so we no longer send $ to BM and she has not said one word.  The last payment to her was the month before SS left for college. 

     

     

  • First, I agree, you pay what you can for college.  Anything you give your SD is a gift (in my mind) and she needs to figure out how to pay the rest.

    But I have another question - you said your father-in-law has a 529 for each child. Is oldest SD using hers?  I ask because you can transfer the money to another person.

    You can't take the 529 money and use it on something outside of tuition (well maybe you can but there would be penalties) - but you can change who the money goes to.  So we have a 529 for each child - but if oldest doesn't go to college, or gets scholarships, or whatever - we'll use his 529 money for the younger ones to defer more costs for them.

    And I'm not saying give all of older sister's 529 to younger sister - but why let it sit? 

  • I'm a huge proponent of college and really think that it is a parent's obligation to help out if they can. However, I don't think it should ever be court ordered or that the parent has to sacrifice everything so that the child has no debt. That is ridiculous. Providing money from a 529 is more than many parents do. It shouldn't matter if it is from you FIL or DH, his family is providing it. You also are in no way expected to cover 100 percent of the costs. I wouldn't give it a second thought as to what BM expects you to do or give, or what she is telling SD. Kids, and even grown up kids, can want or expect whatever their little heart desires but it doesn't mean they should get it. College is expensive and is a luxury. Your SD needs to be thankful for whatever assistance she can get from both DH and BM. Budgeting for college and paying off school loans are things that help you transition to bein a grown up and recognizing responsibility.
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  • This is actually really easy.

    You guys contribute what you can. If that is not what SD/BM expects, too bad. Life is hard. If SD is going to be an adult, then it's time that she realizes that. What YH needs to do at this point is figure out what he can afford, and then be very, very, very clear with SD about what that number will be. Be conservative in your estimates, and then give a little more if you can.

    Nothing BM says matters. The CO states explicitly what will happen. If she does not like it, too bad. Life is hard. If she does not like what YH is able to contribute to SD's college education, too bad. Life is hard.

    If SD wants to be ungrateful and throw YH's help back in his face, then he can withdraw his financial assistance.

    YH doesn't have to do anything other than help to the best of his ability. That's very vague and gives you all lots of discretion. I would (as it sounds like you are) be furious that this was not all hashed out a year or more ago. But there's nothing you can do about that now. 

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  • I completely disagree with parents being court ordered to pay for college.  

    If SD can't swing it on the Stafford loans (sub and un sub) as well as any scholarships, grants, etc that she would qualify for, then maybe she needs to look at the college she's going to.

    See http://studentaid.ed.gov/types/loans/subsidized-unsubsidized#how-much-can-i-borrow ;

    EVERY Community College in EVERY state has an articulation agreement with the big Universities in the state.  She could easily take her pre-reqs (which is what the first 2 years of college are, anyway) at half the price.  Many CC offer dorms now too. 

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    image jobalchak:

    image 2chatter:
    Flame away if you like, but I would take what DH's dad saved in the 529 and count that in DH's percentage, not use it to level the entire cost and reduce BM's contribution.  She did not contribute to the 529, and wants to play dirty in the sandbox.  Take your 529 and go home - then let her know that the 55/45 split is fine.  She pays 45% of the TOTAL, not the total less 529.

    Kinda sorta this...

    I think DH should leave the 529 account out of the equation and see what he can afford to contribute.  I'm not 100% sure how 529's work, but would SD be able to use that to pay back her loans later?  That way the money could stay in the account and accrue some more interest? 

    529s are not exempt from taxes if they are used to pay off student loans, unless the loan was taken out in the year the 529 paid it back. 

    For example, if SD took out $10K in loans every year of college, and at the end was given $40K from a 529 plan to pay off the loans, only the $10K from senior year (and I'm not sure if "year" means 365 days, or calendar year, or school year) would be tax exempt.  The rest would be subject to taxes and penalties.

    However. again playing hardball, if grandpa had any other grandchildren, if he decided to switch the 529 to another beneficiary (another grandchild, himself, anyone....as long as it is used for school), he would be entitled to do so - - just because someone saved for a 529 for you, you are not "entitled" to that money.

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  • image Banana44:

    First, I agree, you pay what you can for college.  Anything you give your SD is a gift (in my mind) and she needs to figure out how to pay the rest.

    But I have another question - you said your father-in-law has a 529 for each child. Is oldest SD using hers?  I ask because you can transfer the money to another person.

    You can't take the 529 money and use it on something outside of tuition (well maybe you can but there would be penalties) - but you can change who the money goes to.  So we have a 529 for each child - but if oldest doesn't go to college, or gets scholarships, or whatever - we'll use his 529 money for the younger ones to defer more costs for them.

    And I'm not saying give all of older sister's 529 to younger sister - but why let it sit? 

    SD (20)  just started taking classes at a community college this past winter, so she has started to use the funds from her 529.  There are 2 accounts that were set up, one fund outperformed the other, so the money is being treated as a pool and divided evenly between the girls.  DH is very careful about tracking this.  BM also has a bug up her a$$ about making sure that SD2 has EXACTLY the same as SD1.  Well, yeah, why would DH do anything else? 

    Several years ago, BM was convinced that DH had taken funds from that account because there was such difference between the 2 accounts (He of course, had not, and BM had copies of every single statement showing that this was not the case). She kept telling that to SD2, and it led to SD2 not speaking to DH for almost 4 years. SD was about 12.  Back then BM got an idea in her head that SD2 should be able to attend a very swank private school in our area to the tune of $25K a year in junior high.  DH told her, no, that is not possible, we cannot afford it but agreed to fill out the financial aid form in case there was a chance of assistance or scholarship.  SD didn't get accepted to the school at all, and then BM told her it was because her father didn't fill out the financial aid forms. So, we are not working with someone who deals in the truth.

    TTC since 3/2010. Me 41, DH-49. After 3 years, 6 IUIs and several IVFs we have finally have our beautiful baby girl, born on 11/7/13.



  • I just want to say again that I really appreciate the feedback from you all.  Some of you have presented things from a different perspective so that will be helpful in talking to DH about our plans.  We have some more discussion to do, but I will remind DH that we don't have to think in terms of "every single penny has to be covered for this child's education" and no one really should to be ordered to pay anything more than they can afford. 

    We know what we can afford to pay out of our pocket for this year.  We will probably be able to do something similar next year.   If BM is unwilling to tell us what she can afford to pay, then we really shouldn't have to go running around scrambling to find funds that we don't have so that it lets her off the hook. SD can take a loan.  Or she can get a job (she is planning to get a job this semester). But she doesn't come from a family that has unlimited resources, so that is life. Deal with it. 

    The 529 is there for use now, and if we need to use more of it now, rather than spread it out over 4 years, then that's what will have to be done, and we will pay what we planned to out of our pocket.  

    Just as an aside, a friend of mine who is divorced and has 2 junior high aged sons told me that her divorce decree is specific enough to have a cap to the tuition that has to be paid. She and her ex husband could be considered "high net worth" so that is probably why there is an ordered amount, but it is capped at whatever the highest in-state NJ tuition is, so if she wants to send them to a private school for college, whatever is over and above that amount is her responsibility if her ex doesn't agree.  I just think it makes things easier to deal with more of a guideline.

    TTC since 3/2010. Me 41, DH-49. After 3 years, 6 IUIs and several IVFs we have finally have our beautiful baby girl, born on 11/7/13.



  • image wendilea:


    EVERY Community College in EVERY state has an articulation agreement with the big Universities in the state.  She could easily take her pre-reqs (which is what the first 2 years of college are, anyway) at half the price.  Many CC offer dorms now too. 

    Regarding the bolded:  one of my best friends was accepted into an amazing 4 year University, but her parents couldn't afford the tuition. They made too much money for her to qualify for financial aide, so she went to a JC to get her pre-reqs done and earn her AA.  With that she transferred to the University she originally wanted to go to and obtained her BS and Masters.  It didn't take her any longer to earn her degree, her parents saved a ton of money and she was able to get financial aide and student loans to pay for her graduate degree.  That's definitely an avenue worth looking into.

    Also, my boss has 2 boys in college.  Very expensive colleges.  He and his wife are both attorneys so they clearly don't qualify for financial aide.  The boys took out student loans and my boss pays towards the loans each month.  I don't know the exact dollar amount, but let's say he pays $500 a month towards the loans.  That amount comes off the principal and there isn't any interest tacked on until after the boys graduate college.  Yes, they will have some debt after they graduate, but not nearly as much as they could have.  This alternative might work well for your DH because he can pay each month what he's capable of paying, and BM can pay whatever she decides to contribute (if anything) and neither of them need to discuss it any further.  Each year when SD needs to renew the loans, use the 529 account to pay some of the loan, and then each parent can make their own payments.  If it comes out in 4 years that BM paid nada, then SD can deal with her mother accordingly.  

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