Married/Seperated mess... PLEASE HELP


<p>well here goes... in August of 2010 my husband and I (at the time living in NJ) decided to separate. Leaving me with our 3 sons. Around August of 2011 he dropped the bomb that he had been chosen to relocate with his job to Georgia, my children were devastated, and NJ is so expensive, that I somehow allowed him into talking me into moving with him, figuring maybe a change of scenery would rekindle our marriage. Well... it didn't. So now I'm stuck in GA, and I'm trying to go back and finish college, the only thing is, I don't know how to fill out my FAFSA without looking like a big ole phony. Yes, I have separation documents and child support papers (From NJ, before the move). We filed jointly this year, because last year we filed separately and it royally screwed the both of us over, however we live separately. Right now I am working, but it's for a tutoring company who's business ends when school does, and picks back up when school does. He doesn't pay child support but he does pay for my car payment because I just can't afford to. I don't know how exactly to go about this, and I feel like the more I try and explain it to a Financial Aid advisor at the school, the worse it's going to look. Please... anyone... help?</p>

<p>Since you are living separately now, fill out your FAFSA as separated. You fill out the FAFSA based on what you are doing the day you fill it out. You probably shouldn’t continue to file taxes jointly but next year, you can call the school’s financial aid counselor and say your estranged husband is asking you to file jointly with him to lower his taxes, would it affect your aid? (I would word it that way so they don’t think you are a phony.) My guess is that if you continue to file taxes jointly, it will raise eyebrows while, right now, they will probably just sort of think it is a recent separation. If the school gets suspicious, they may ask you to prove your separation and that could involve a letter from a pastor/ lawyer, showing proof of your address, a lease in just your name, showing copies of your bank account to prove how you afford your bills on your own, etc-- in other words, not <em>just</em> your separation agreement. </p>

<p>There is a line in the FAFSA about expenses paid for you by others and the car payment should probably go in there. It’s none of my business, but you really should try to get child support like now. If you have to go through child support enforcement, they are likely to only start counting him in arrears <em>after</em> they get involved.</p>


<p>It is of course also none of my business, but … before you go to court, you should consider the possibility that you husband will argue that the car payments are done in lieu of child support, especially if the car title is in your name.</p>

<p>It does not really matter if you receive the money and or the bank holding the car loan. If you go to court, your husband will just stop paying the car loan. </p>

<p>Depending on what is the difference between the car loan payments and child support, you should decide whether that battle is worth to fight.</p>