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Separation Agreement - what counts? What's promised or what's delivered?

lr123internetlr123internet Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
Our separation/divorce agreement says my ex will pay half of tuition, but in actuality he is not likely to pay anything. I understand the FAFSA will not consider his potential contribution at all, but the CSS can look at him. Will it have a negative impact on my EFC if he says he will bay for half, but actually does not? Thank you!

Replies to: Separation Agreement - what counts? What's promised or what's delivered?

  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 8,147 Senior Member
    Are you prepared to take him to court to live up to his obligation to his child?
  • NEPatsGirlNEPatsGirl Registered User Posts: 2,228 Senior Member
    When he does his portion of the profile, there's a question that asks what he intends to contribute. My D's bioDad put zero. We had what is considered an open paternity agreement, in that it did not consider college tuition or child support past age 18.

    I wonder when an agreement says he is responsible for half the tuition, is there a cap? It wouldn't seem fair to be responsible for half of what custodial parent and student deem appropriate COA. This is a problem I ran in to. BioDad (with an EFC around $35K) thought a top school where she was accepted at $32K/year COA was appropriate and essentially said if she picked that school he might consider paying 1/3...my EFC was $6K, go figure. Needless to say, D and I compromised on a school that fit my budget, not his "maybe" budget.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 14,546 Senior Member
    I don't think schools will care that he agreed to pay half, or even if he is ordered to pay half, because some NCP will not have agreed or been ordered to pay anything, and the school doesn't care about that either. The NCP will fill out the NCP form for the CSS and that will be what the school cares about. What is his salary, what are the assets? The school won't let someone skate if they didn't agree to pay half, and they won't hold someone who makes very little to pay half of whatever the custodial parent/student/school says they must pay because they 'agreed' to it may years ago.

    The divorce agreement is between the parties. Third parties (Visa, Mastercard, car loans, colleges) can't hold the parties to that agreement and can't be held to the agreement. If the divorce agreement says that the wife will pay the Visa bill, Visa is still going to go after the husband if he's the one with the money and he's liable on the account. If the agreement says the father must pay have the tuition, the college is going to go after the student for the tuition $$, and doesn't really care where the money comes from.

    I have a friend of a friend who is going through this. Been divorced about 10 years and they haven't agreed to ANYTHING in that time. The divorce order says they will revisit it when the kids go to college. I foresee another 8 years (or more, 2 kids going to college) of fighting every single second about tuition, fees, books, and more money will be wasted on the fight.
  • sybbie719sybbie719 Super Moderator Posts: 20,901 Super Moderator
    edited October 11
    Like @twoinanddone said, schools do not want to get involved regarding situations between parents and agreements.

    For all the school knows, half tuition could be half of what the tuition cost is at your local university. If you choose a school where tuition is $45k, when your ex was expecting to pay $7500, then there is a problem

    The college is going to look at the income and assets of both parties and say based on A you can pay B. They no not care who actually writes the check, as long as it gets written and doesn’t bounce.

    If you see having problems with your ex regarding paying for college as a problem now and your child has not even applied, perhaps you need to look at FAFSA only schools, schools where she can get merit and are affordable to you holding it down by yourself or Vanderbilt (where they do not ask for non-custodial parent)
    Post edited by sybbie719 on
  • blossomblossom Registered User Posts: 8,147 Senior Member
    Has the dad already said that he's not interested in helping his child with a college education?
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,967 Senior Member
    The colleges won't care two hoots about your divorce agreement. They will calculate a family contribution...and really...they don't care how it gets paid, or by whom.
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