Financial Aid Question

<p>I am asking this question on behalf of my cousin, and it will probably relate to me sometime soon.</p>

<p>My cousin's father died when she was about 12, and her mom got re-married without declaring the new husband a guardian. She does not want to list him on her financial aid forms, especially because he will not be contributing to the college education.</p>

<p>Now I say this will probably affect me or my sister because my mother could be remarried soon and I want to know if there are any loopholes that I could pursue.</p>

<p>It's irrelevant whether or not she declared him a guardian. FAFSA asks for income of parents' spouses, and leaving if off would be considered fraud--and this is a government document.</p>

<p>ilcapo, as garland says, you have no choice but to include that info on the FAFSA. You don't want to be risking the potential problems of committing fraud by lying on a federal document. Unfortunately, not all step-parents are willing to contribute to college expenses but the fact is, they're expected to do so.</p>

<p>The step parent does not have to be the guardian, but his income is part of the household income and will be used in calculating the EFC.</p>


<p>This issue mirrors the child support issue. When a person who pays child support remarries his or her spouse's income is factored into the amount s/he has to pay, whether or not the spouse wants to or not.</p>

<p>OK I get it. Will pass the message on.</p>

<p>Hopefully if my mom gets re-married, she'll marry someone willing to foot the bill :)</p>

<p>or hopefully if and when she gets remarried she marries someone who is cognisant that marrying someone with children means that they are part of your family, and being responsible and mature enough to welcome that opportunity.</p>

<p>Well said, EK. My cousin considered his step-daughter to be as much his responsibility as his son, and I can't imagine being married to someone who didn't feel that way.</p>

<p>I'm with you Garland and EK4. I am remarried to a man who treats all the children - his, mine, ours - as equals and equally loved, as well as equal responsibilities. They are equal in EVERY regard, including in our wills! How very bizarre, and I don't use the term loosely, to imagine it any other way.</p>

<p>There is something I've wondered about this topic. If the non-custodial spouse is totally out of the picture - as in no child support for years, we don't even know where s/he is - is that income considered? How does the college know? Does the IRS get after them? So many blended families I know unfortunately have at least one "parent" that this would apply to.</p>

<p>It depends on the college. If I remember correctly, BC considered it the moral duty of the deadbeat dad to pay and would not release him from his obligations. In practical terms, it meant it would not give financial aid to the applicant who ended up having to go elsewhere (it had been her first choice). Other colleges took the deadbeat status of the dad into account.</p>


<p>It really depends on the particular family situation. A relative of mine married a man who had two children from a previous marriage. They lived in another state with their mother, who I was told was from a well-to-do family and earned a good income of her own. When he married my relative, her income got factored into the amount of support he had to pay to his children, whom she did not know. She was very concerned about how the reduced income would affect her own plans to start a family.</p>