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Married but separated FAFSA help

rosygirlrosygirl Registered User Posts: 1 New Member
I left my husband and moved 2 hours away with our two young daughters. I am planning on going to school in Florida starting mid May.(I know...it's a last minute thing to go to school) I am filling out my FAFSA for 2008 - 2009. If I claim my husbands income than I will get less right? But can I just claim mine even though we are still married but separated? He has been a jerk about the whole thing and tells me that if I claim him then I will not get anything...... I need all the help I can get I am really new at this! Thanks!!!
Post edited by rosygirl on

Replies to: Married but separated FAFSA help

  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Registered User Posts: 5,746 Senior Member
    No, if you're separated you file FAFSA with only your info. Did you file a joint return for 2008? If so, you enter the numbers that apply to your income, exemptions, etc. Not sure how it works for verification - I would have a copy of my separation docs or other supporting evidence handy in case you're called upon for verification. See pg 19 in this doc:
  • sportsmomsportsmom Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    I have a situation as well, since my husband moved out 1 year ago and left me and our children. I have 2 sons in college, and a third who will begin this fall. My husband lives with his "girlfriend" and we are currently in the middle of a divorce.

    He directly deposits a portion of his paycheck into our joint checking account - this is not by court order as we are not "legally separated." He does not pay official child support. I have been a homemaker and took care of the bills. The money he deposits is for the housepayment, not "child" support.

    Here are my FAFSA concerns - and I appreciate all input.
    We filed married filing joint return as per our attorneys to claim the Hope and Lifelong Learning Credits.
    The FAFSA is different than the 1040, though. I have "zero" income from a legal standpoint. So my personal income is 0. I have no W-2 of my own for 2008.

    Does this sound correct for 2009-2010?
    Question 61 - we are married.
    Question 62 - only we are separated.
    Question 75 - the married part puts us at a household of 5 even though my husband does not live with me and my children.
    Question 85 - I think I am a displaced homemaker?

    Separated, no W-2, no income of my own, and married filing joint starts to not make sense as I continued the FAFSA. The FAFSA has a help section - so I read the definition of "parent" and it states:
    The parent is the one that the student lived with most during the last 12 months. Well, that's definitely me. I am supposed to fill it out providing only my tax information.

    But on Question 87 - It requests the total tax amount - which is from the 1040 joint return. The W-2 on our return is my husband's.

    Question 89 and 90 - I had no earnings at all, - so I would be "0," right? How does that coincide with the 1040? The amounts on the FAFSA and the 1040 will not match up at all. Our 1040 sohows income, etc.

    And Question 95 is about child support. He directly deposits a portion of his paycheck into our joint account for the mortgage payment but doesn't pay "child" support. I have no income, yet my children and I currently live together in our home.

    I would appreciate any and all help to fill out the FAFSA correctly.
    I really would like to help my children receive fair FinAid. My husband refuses to help with college expenses. Right now my children have a variety of scholarships, student loans, and I was approved for PP loans during 2008-09. I don't see that happening for next year.
    I cannot make any mistakes on the 2009-2010 FAFSA.
    Help!! : ) TY so much!
  • sblake7sblake7 Registered User Posts: 1,691 Senior Member
    Q61: Check Divorced/Separated
    Q62: Put down the month and year you separated

    You'll complete the rest the same as if you were divorced, with you and your three kids part of your household. Leave Father's information off the form.

    Q75: You and three kids make 4 household members.

    Q85: "A displaced homemaker is generally a person who: previously provided unpaid services to the family (e.g., a stay-at-home mom or dad), is no longer supported by the husband or wife, is unemployed or underemployed and is having trouble finding or upgrading employment."

    Q87: Not sure. I think I'd put 0, since the income in '08 was your husband's. What did you put down for the question re: AGI?

    Q89: leave blank. Since you're separated, you leave the father's info off.

    Q90: enter 0 if you had no income from work in '08.

    Q95C: enter 0 since you don't get child support. But I think you'd put down the support you receive from your husband as untaxed income in 95i. Is this your only income?
  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Registered User Posts: 5,746 Senior Member
    Support from the ex is untaxed income - regardless of court order or what you might call it. Why are you filing jointly...just to give him a tax break? I imagine this could get sticky if you're verified and have no way to prove separation. Meanwhile the kids have no college expense or access to aid? Suggest you get the separation paperwork done - it will help avoid problems for you and the kids. Btw, what happens if he suddenly decides to stop paying or clean out your joint account?
  • sportsmomsportsmom Registered User Posts: 4 New Member
    Thank you both soooooo much, I really appreciate your advice and knowledge. The attorney told me to file married filing joint for the Hope College and Lifetime Learning credit deduction, so I did. I live in fear that he will stop putting money in the joint account for the house payment. I had my attorney file an order for temp support a long time ago only the judge pushed it back almost 6 months as they are so overwhelmed with the cases on the docket - how sad. There is a pretrial conference soon so I hope to have the support order in place, thank you for your thoughts. I will attempt the FAFSA and hope I do it correctly!
  • kelsmomkelsmom Super Moderator Posts: 14,542 Super Moderator
    The advice from sblake7 & sk8rmom is correct. Yes, the taxes are 0. And you do need to report the money your ex to be deposits in the account as untaxed income. And yes, you are a displaced homemaker.

    While verification may be a hassle if you are selected, you are correct in the way you are filing your FAFSA - so you will be fine. If you need to provide verification of your situation, just talk to the financial aid office for guidance.
  • dkcdkc Registered User Posts: 8 New Member
    Would this info be the same for the 2009-2010 school year (2008 tax year for fafsa) if the couple did not seperate until March of 2009? Meaning even though we were not seperated until 2009 - after the "normal" tax year for the FAFSA, would it still affect our EFC for the 2009-2010 year? If I have already filled out the FAFSA for this year, can I do a modification for this change?

    Would this be the same for PROFILE?


  • kelsmomkelsmom Super Moderator Posts: 14,542 Super Moderator
    If it happened after you signed the FAFSA for 2009-10, you will most likely be required by the school to fill out some type of special circumstances request. They will collect your info and review your case. If there are any adjustments to be made to the FAFSA, the school will do it.
  • sk8rmomsk8rmom Registered User Posts: 5,746 Senior Member
    DKC - I don't think it would make as much of a difference for Profile, as they want both parents info regardless of marital status. It would just change the format.
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