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Divorced/ Remarried, no income for Fasfa

krangellkrangell Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
I am a remarried mom. I do not work. I have custody of my college bound son. Do I have to count my husbands income on Fafsa? I get child support but only through graduation time. Then I will have zero income. Obviously, I know they will ask for my husbands income, but how can I show that he will not be paying for college so my "Family Contribution" will be as low as possible?
Post edited by krangell on

Replies to: Divorced/ Remarried, no income for Fasfa

  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Registered User Posts: 15,639 Senior Member
    You do have to show your husband's income on FAFSA. It is not optional. It does not matter whether he plans to contribute or not, his income and assets are taken into account when calculating the EFC.

    From FAFSA
    A stepparent is treated in the same manner as a biological parent if the stepparent is married, as of the date of application, to the biological parent whose information will be reported on the FAFSA, or if the stepparent has legally adopted you. There are no exceptions. Prenuptial agreements do not exempt the stepparent from providing required data on the FAFSA.
  • krangellkrangell Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    even if the step parent is not going to pay for college? I understand the reporting part, but is there a way this will make my Family contribution amount less?
    Thanks for the reply.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Registered User Posts: 15,639 Senior Member
    No. The fact that he is not going to pay will make no difference whatsoever.
  • annikasorrensenannikasorrensen Registered User Posts: 1,487 Senior Member
    I don't believe it works that way--your "family income" on the FAFSA as far as I am aware is based off your family taxes (you and your new husband).

    "Family Contribution" is sort of a misnomer, because many students attend college without any contributions from their families. No family is _compelled_ to pay for college costs. At the same time, the federal government has limited funds and the taxpayers limited pocketbooks. Some sort of system had to set limits for how much taxpayer funded aid can be awarded to dependent (generally under age of 24 for FAFSA purposes) students.

    Your new husband doesn't want to pay for college. That's understandable. You don't want to work and don't want to pay. That's understandable. But why should the taxpayers then fund your college bound student based on just what you and your new husband "want" to pay rather than be connected to what in reality you "could" pay?

    The taxpayers have limits funds to help students and the institutions themselves have limited funds to help students. Stepfamilies comprise a giant number of families in the US and if all stepfamilies were exempt/on volunteer-pay basis the funds for college financial aid (taxpayer based and institutional based) would go bust.

    The system is currently set up that stepparents married to the custodial parents are figured into the family income. Seems reasonable and has been this way for decades.
  • 2collegewego2collegewego Registered User Posts: 2,708 Senior Member
    You've already received the answer to your question: his income must be included on FAFSA and will be treated the same as yours. (So it absolutely will impact your EFC.) But I want to make sure you know that some colleges also require additional financial aid forms that request information on the child's non-custodial parent (and that person's spouse, if the ncp has remarried). You need to look at each college's website to find out for sure. Some schools have their own financial aid form which asks about that, others use something called the Profile and require the ncp to fill out a supplement. (Not all schools that use the College Board's Profile request non-custodial parent information.)
  • cartera45cartera45 Registered User Posts: 12,440 Senior Member
    FAFSA considers step parents to be part of the family whether the step parents wish to take on those family responsibilities or not. It cannot be a choice.
  • mom2collegekidsmom2collegekids Registered User Posts: 82,539 Senior Member
    Look at it this way....you're able to not be employed because you have access to your new H's money...he is supporting you. So, his income is "your income" as well. Your household's income is a "family income."

    If your H won't let you use some of the "family income" for your son's college costs, then you probably should get a job to cover the part that will be your family's contribution.

    You have to realize that every "blended family" would just have the mom not work if it meant getting more FA...that's why it can't work that way.

    The FA world is set up so that the primary responsibility to pay for college resides with the family.

    Another option is to have your child apply to schools where his stats will get large merit scholarships.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,379 Senior Member
    Nothing new to add....you've heard it. Your husband's income MUST be reported on the FAFSA as he is a member of your FAMILY. The FAFSA computes an Expected FAMILY Contribution. There is no way to exclude his income from your FAFSA form (nor is there any way to NOT report your child support for the 2011 calendar year (if your child is going to college in fall 2012).

    And just FYI....if your child applies to schools requiring the CSS Profile, they MIGHT require his father's (and spouse if there is one) information as well. Many schools (but not all) that require the Profile also require a non-custodial parent profile. AND lastly...some schools have their own financial aid forms...many of those also ask for non-custodial parent information.
This discussion has been closed.