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Law advice needed (child college payment)

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Law advice needed (child college payment)

Old 08-11-12, 09:49 PM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

Another option is that she look into taking out a PLUS loan for her half
Old 08-11-12, 10:06 PM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

They need to sit down and try to hash it out prior to going all legal. Realize that both sides will spend hundreds to thousands on legal fees if you both lawyer up. Who wins with that? Only the lawyers.

The kid need to be involved, as well. Welcome to adulthood and making tough choices for him but he's 18, not 10.
Old 08-11-12, 10:11 PM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

Originally Posted by Applejack View Post
Another option is that she look into taking out a PLUS loan for her half
Thanks I'll look into that

Originally Posted by Nefarious View Post
They need to sit down and try to hash it out prior to going all legal. Realize that both sides will spend hundreds to thousands on legal fees if you both lawyer up. Who wins with that? Only the lawyers.

The kid need to be involved, as well. Welcome to adulthood and making tough choices for him but he's 18, not 10.
They actually both went to his office today. He won't budge.
Old 08-11-12, 10:45 PM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

talk to a lawyer, you're not going to get what you need from the dentists on DVDTalk.
Old 08-11-12, 11:32 PM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

Originally Posted by LurkerDan View Post
talk to a lawyer, you're not going to get what you need from the dentists on DVDTalk.
Yea we plan on it. It's hard to find a lawyer on the weekend to talk to though and this was just a way to maybe get a tiny bit of info until Monday.
Old 08-11-12, 11:39 PM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

I don't suppose your stepson would be interesting in a thrilling career in plumbing or auto body repair, would he?
Old 08-12-12, 03:27 AM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

First, I think the suggestions to explore alternative means to finance the tuition (grants, student loans, etc.) are good ones and should be explored fully.

Second, if her ex unilaterally chose the college, she might have some defense against having to pay half. In my jurisdiction, failure to consult the other parent and obtain agreement usually equals no obligation to pay. It's fun to stick the other side when they act like assholes.

Third, consider bankruptcy. Child support is not dischargeable in bankruptcy, but an agreement to share the costs of college might not be considered a "child support obligation" in your jurisdiction. It isn't in my jurisdiction, since kids who go to college are usually adults (i.e. over 18). It's unfortunate she agreed to such a provision, since I suspect her jurisdiction would not have required it.

Fourth, if bankruptcy is not an option, I expect that not much will happen if she doesn't pay. If she has no assets or regular paychecks, good luck to the ex trying to collect. Keep your money separate from hers (not sure if this matters in your jurisdiction, but it does in mine). The ex could try to have her found in contempt, maybe, but her inability to pay would likely be a complete defense.

Sounds like the typical bitter divorce, where the ex is trying to stick her one last time. Fun times.

Edited to add: Oh, and she should spring a few bucks to at least consult a lawyer this time. County bar associations usually have a referral service that offer a free or low-cost initial consultation. Some lawyers will be assholes and won't want to give any useful advice during such a consultation. Steer clear of them and find someone who seems to care.
Old 08-12-12, 06:41 AM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

Originally Posted by chino77 View Post
They actually both went to his office today. He won't budge.
Sounds great. Spend the money on a legal battle and show the kid how stupid this all is. Is still say that the kid has to stop this. Is he too stupid to realize that his mother doesn't have the money or what is wrong with him?
Old 08-12-12, 08:39 AM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

Lot of shit being put on an 18 year kid. Telling him it's his responsibility to throw away his chance at a school he wants to go to cause mommy and daddy fucked up and told him he could seems a bit ridiculous. Yes he could take out loans, but that was probably something that she should of thought of 16 years ago. I don't even have kids with my wife yet and we have already talked over what were going to do as far as kids education. I know my parents were the same way. It's called being responsible. Don't blame this on the kid cause that sure as hell won't get you anywhere with him or the judge

And yes get a lawyer and show up for court.
Old 08-12-12, 10:02 AM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

Originally Posted by DVD Polizei View Post

I'd go over the divorce papers with a fine-toothed comb and see just what exactly is meant by "paying college tuition". Now, that said, there is some specificity here. College tuition. So, she needs to find out where her kid is going to college, and what the TRUE COLLEGE TUITION costs are. The ex might be fucking around and billing her for expenses that are not even related. So, this is why she will need an attorney to get this straightened out and make sure this is just tuition she is paying. She should NOT pay the ex anything. Any money needs to be paid through his attorney or the court, because you need a really good record of payment in these kinds of situations.
This might be the "out".

I just got my daughters first semester final bill (she is going in two weeks as a freshman). There are about 25 lines totaling $7,000. However, line one was something like "tuition 13 hrs x $xxx = $2,400".

Yes the actual tuition was less than half the total. The rest was housing, meal plan, labs, health/fitness fees, and a bunch of other stuff".

She should probably try to argue that she knew she would have limited funds that is why she agreed to share in tution costs only.

Though I think you better come up with $200 per month to argue paying half of the tuition is reasonable.

And I agree with others. The real screw up is by the parents for not having this cleared up a year ago so kid is not caught off guard. I'm not perfect by any means, but sat with daughter 18 months ago as she was getting replies from college to discuss some "realities". She was totally cool with all. And now she is so excited she is fit to be tied. I'd feel miserable if I'd just now be having that talk with her. Or have to tell her she can't go.

Last edited by Sdallnct; 08-12-12 at 10:07 AM.
Old 08-12-12, 10:15 AM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

She has told her son for yrs he would have to get loans and she wouldn't pay for his college. The dad was the one who kept telling him not to worry that they both would pay it. He also pushed him into going to a school 7 hrs away instead of staying here in the city and living at home for free.
Old 08-12-12, 10:23 AM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

Yep, def sounds like the ex husband is doing this just to get back at your wife. It's a shame that this POS is using their child to do so. My parents were divorced also, but they rarely pulled me into this kind of stuff. Now he has to "play favorites" between parents which is a shitty place to put him. I like this father less and less every time.
Old 08-12-12, 10:34 AM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

Yea he's a joke (even his own kids think he is). I agree it's just his final way to stick it to her. The son when there and said he would rather get loans and the dad said no. My wife even took a spreadsheet breaking down all her finances to show she doesn't have the money. He basically said oh well find a way, go into debt, file bankruptcy, ect. My wife doesn't have a problem helping when she can with a little a month or pay some on his loan if she gets some extra cash but to be tied down to a large bill every month can't be done. The son said he is just going to get loans anyways but I don't know if he can without his dad knowing.
Old 08-12-12, 10:40 AM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

Originally Posted by chino77 View Post
Yea he's a joke (even his own kids think he is). I agree it's just his final way to stick it to her. The son when there and said he would rather get loans and the dad said no. My wife even took a spreadsheet breaking down all her finances to show she doesn't have the money. He basically said oh well find a way, go into debt, file bankruptcy, ect. My wife doesn't have a problem helping when she can with a little a month or pay some on his loan if she gets some extra cash but to be tied down to a large bill every month can't be done. The son said he is just going to get loans anyways but I don't know if he can without his dad knowing.
After he's 18, can't he at his choice declare that his father can no longer claim him and make it so that he doesn't need his permission to get loans? If he's living with his father than maybe you guys can let him stay with you guys instead while he goes to school to help out. It would certainly be better than letting this guy win and causing yourself to go bankrupt. AND if he is living with you guys, she can probably claim him on her taxes and that money can go towards helping with the tuition and the housing for him. I'm no lawyer so I don't even know if that would work.

It would be kind of messed up if he declared independence from his father and couldn't go to school because he's being an ass. There HAS to be some kind of legal way to make it so he can't decide this for her son.
Old 08-12-12, 11:21 AM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

He goes to school on wed, classes start the 20th. So we need to get this figured out quick. Once he starts school he will be living with us when he is in town. Or if he ends up at a local school he will live with us. Her son wants to go to that school and is determined to get his own loans. But we need to talk to a lawyer tomorrow to see what our options are.
Old 08-12-12, 04:24 PM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

Originally Posted by chino77 View Post
She has told her son for yrs he would have to get loans and she wouldn't pay for his college. The dad was the one who kept telling him not to worry that they both would pay it. He also pushed him into going to a school 7 hrs away instead of staying here in the city and living at home for free.
Why didn't she start saving "years ago" if it was in the divorse papers that she would have to pay? And why did she agree to pay in the divorce papers while at the same time telling son she wouldn't pay?

Sorry, while I think dad AND mom should have worked this out "years" ago, it sounds like it was in fact "worked out" in the divorce.

Funny you say that dad kept saying they would both pay, but mom is the one not paying. How much is dad willing to pay? Sounds like he is the one being fair. He just doesn't want to pay for all. Is dad paying any sort of support to mom?

If where he went to school was an issue why wasn't that in the divorce papers? And again, if the only agreement is to pay for tuition, than that is a small part of total college cost. Can she/not come up with that?

One option would be to get a loan at her company credit union and all three pay it off. At least for the first year. To get started. Than maybe he can get a campus job or be an RA (free housing) after that.
Old 08-12-12, 05:13 PM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

Last time I checked there were student loan programs. Or did those go away?
Old 08-12-12, 08:50 PM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

The issue isn't that there aren't student loans or other options, it's that she agreed in the divorce decree/stipulation to pay for half. It should be reviewed to see if it is more specific. Many will specify that you won't pay more than half of what it would be at a state university for in-state tuition. So even if the child decided to go to a private college or out-of-state, the support was capped at half the cost of what it would be at an in-state university.

Her options are limited to: 1) somehow proving that the stipulation has been negated/voided (difficult); 2) legally arguing for a modification; or 3) coming to some sort of mutual agreement outside of the legal realm.

You might check to see if there are any state laws on the issue. For example, Missouri passed a law stating that parents will continue to pay child support (in lieu of splitting tuition) up until the child graduates college or reaches the age of 21. However, the kid must enroll no later than October 1st after graduating high-school or receiving a GED. They also must maintain certain academic standards, hours, etc. or support ends and cannot be reinstated. For example, if the kid fails half or more of his courses in a semester, support ends. If they take a semester off -- support ends.
Old 08-12-12, 09:42 PM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

Originally Posted by chino77 View Post
Not when she needs her car for work. Unless she is supposed to hitchhike to get to her works different branches. So no it doesn't belong on the frivolous list.
Didn't say not to have a car sir. I realize car payments have been the new normal for awhile now... but maybe it's time to start thinking about owning a vehicle vs renting it?
Old 08-13-12, 12:12 AM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

Originally Posted by Sdallnct View Post
Why didn't she start saving "years ago" if it was in the divorse papers that she would have to pay? And why did she agree to pay in the divorce papers while at the same time telling son she wouldn't pay?

Sorry, while I think dad AND mom should have worked this out "years" ago, it sounds like it was in fact "worked out" in the divorce.

Funny you say that dad kept saying they would both pay, but mom is the one not paying. How much is dad willing to pay? Sounds like he is the one being fair. He just doesn't want to pay for all. Is dad paying any sort of support to mom?

If where he went to school was an issue why wasn't that in the divorce papers? And again, if the only agreement is to pay for tuition, than that is a small part of total college cost. Can she/not come up with that?

One option would be to get a loan at her company credit union and all three pay it off. At least for the first year. To get started. Than maybe he can get a campus job or be an RA (free housing) after that.
She completely forgot it was in there. It was 16 yrs ago, she was young and wanted to get out of the horrible marriage she had with a man who constantly cheated on her, degraded her and her kids, abandoned them regularly for weeks at a time, ect. I guess she was in a rush and understood or was told that it was just to "help out" not pay 30k. Did she fuck up? Yes probably but who didnt when they were young? Did her lawyer fuck up and misinform her? Maybe. The guy is Just being a dick. He didn't pay child support most of their life, was rarely around, broke promises constantly to the kids, never followed the decree, but now all the sudden it's his way or nothing else. This is more than likely just his last way to fuck her over. Funny how all the times they argued about paying he never brought up the decree. Now that her son goes to school on the 15th and just turned 18 so she can't sue for back child support he decides to take her to court. Going to court was never mentioned either, even though it was filed on the 16th of July and he kept texting her to "step up" up until last week.

Originally Posted by Artman View Post
Didn't say not to have a car sir. I realize car payments have been the new normal for awhile now... but maybe it's time to start thinking about owning a vehicle vs renting it?
What the hell are you talking about? Do you think she is driving around in a Bentley? After the car she had that was payed off for 5 yrs started Costing more to fix than it would to "rent" a car as u say. We got a super fancy 2007 sienna minivan with 87k miles on it and pay a whopping $150 a month. Please tell me your master plan on how she could have bought a reliable car outright? She couldn't have saved money because the old car was sucking all of it out of her pocket. She can't be without a car because of work...so what were here options. Buy another POS for 1k that would also break down every month?
Old 08-13-12, 12:25 AM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

Also where he goes to school is in the decree. It's supposed to be a mutual agreement. When in fact he pushed the school on his son because he wanted him to go to the school he went to. My wife wanted him to stay in the city but since she wasn't going to pay she didn't try to steer him one way or the other. Also he is being unreasonable. He isn't willing to work with her in anyway. No matter what she says he says no, your going to pay. His son isn't getting loans. She would help her son as much as she could but she can't afford half. Now If his dad really takes this to court he will probably not go to that school. He will go to a Chicago university or jr college and live with us. Just because for some reason he doesn't want his son to have loans. Even though my wife suggested they help pay his loans so when he graduates he won't have nearly as much debt. But that's not good enough.
Old 08-13-12, 12:29 AM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

This post has been sanitized.

Last edited by SterlingBen; 08-13-12 at 12:34 AM.
Old 08-13-12, 12:29 AM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

Also the decree is very vague. It doesn't mention percentages or money at all. Just that they will pay for college and have a mutual agreement on the school.
Old 08-13-12, 12:33 AM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

Originally Posted by SterlingBen View Post
Exactly that is why you get a part time job, I paid for my entire college education. What a bunch of fucking deadbeats, kid included.
He's never had a job. His life was sports..so he didn't have the time.
And hope you aren't calling my wife a deadbeat. She basically paid for everything his entire life and rarely bothered to hunt his dad down for child support. She also drove him daily 30 min so he could go to a better school. But he fucked that up by letting on that he actually lived in the city and not the burbs. So he had to move to his dads.
Old 08-13-12, 12:37 AM
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Re: Law advice needed (child college payment)

Originally Posted by chino77 View Post
He's never had a job. His life was sports..so he didn't have the time.
And hope you aren't calling my wife a deadbeat. She basically paid for everything his entire life and rarely bothered to hunt his dad down for child support. She also drove him daily 30 min so he could go to a better school. But he fucked that up by letting on that he actually lived in the city and not the burbs. So he had to move to his dads.
But not soon enough it would seem.

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