Need Information: legal battle w/ ex-husband over college funds

<p>Hello. Thanks for reading this post. I will try to be as brief as possible with the "back story" that has led to my dilemma.</p>

<p>In our divorce agreement, my children's father agreed (after much wrangling) that we would each contribute a certain (not unsubstantial) monetary amount to a college fund for our 2 daughters. We agreed to put this money into the fund when a specific joint investment gave us its first pay-out. When the pay-out actually occurred, he was supposedly low on funds, so I allowed him to hold off putting in the $ for a while; he wrote a letter stating that when he put in the $, he would additionally match the earnings that my contribution had made. About 1 1/2 year ago, he told me that he had the money and had deposited it to the account. I found out, one month ago, that he had never put the money in. His initial reaction upon being confronted: fury and blustering; when I stopped all contact w/ him and he heard that I would be taking him to court, he began trying to negotiate. I have decided that I will take him to court if he does not put the full amount, along w/ interest earned, into the account.</p>

<p>A bit more information: I decided to let him "win" in the money part of the divorce agreement, in order to protect the children and myself from endless battle. I figured out what I would need to support my children for their dependent years, added my living expenses, and figured out what percentage of our joint assets this would equal. This amount was quite a bit less than 50% of our assets, and he agreed to this deal. I have never regretted it, because I think that it saved me much grief, and saved my children many repercussions. I am giving this information to explain that, from that point on (10 years ago), he has not been responsible for anything financially for our children; he will continue to not be held responsible legally for any $ to our kids, including any costs for college (except for the one-time deposit agreed upon for the college fund).</p>

<p>My daughter will be attending a LAC in the Fall. It is a school that is identified as having one of the highest tuitions of all American colleges. She will get no financial aid at all, and I accept that as fair; I will be able to carry the costs, if I'm very careful.</p>

<p>So..............such a long back story. And here, finally, is my QUESTION: In order to prepare myself for this legal battle, I am trying to figure out the true amount that I can expect to spend, yearly, on my daughter's college education........beyond tuition, room and board, etc. (Also, a clear sense of the percentage that tuition rises yearly). I've heard that the additional, "hidden", costs are quite high. I've Googled a bit, but so far have seen only vague predictions. So, I was hoping to get responses from parents of children who go to colleges with a similar high tuition. If you could relay what, and how much, the additional costs were/are, I'd be tremendously appreciative. </p>

<p>Please........I really don't need any admonitions about my choices; I feel that my original financial decision was the best one that I could make in the horrible situation that I found myself in. Although I now feel shock and a dawning bitterness at the realization, yet again, that I can not trust this man at all, I also feel blessed that I CAN provide my kids with an excellent education.</p>

<p>Thanks for any and all constructive feedback.</p>

<p>I'm a college freshman, so I don't have that much to say on your question exactly. But I've explored options to support myself and your daughter can also look into applying for scholarships later on, working part time jobs and taking out a reasonable amount of student loans in order to help pay the hidden costs.</p>

<p>Child's cell phone bill, paper, printer & ink, music lessons (if applicable).</p>

<p>Various start up costs: Laptop, extra long twin sheets & comforter, shower tote, storage type totes, mattress topper of memory foam, bulk type supplies of shampoo, conditioner, and other health & beauty aids, refrigerator, microwave, television set, laundry detergent.</p>

<p>Spending money for pizza, going out with friends or money for social events like concerts and the like. If your child cannot qualify for need-based Work Study Job maybe she could get a job on campus or nearby off campus to make her own spending money. </p>

<p>Hope this helps! We have sent four children to college. :)</p>

<p>Don't forget travel to and from home for breaks. If the distance is substantial, this can add up, especially with ever escalating airfares. I estimate that I spent $1500 on airfare for my daughter this year to come home for fall, Christmas and spring breaks. In addition, there were the costs of moving her to school in the fall and home at the end of the year. Figure mileage, meals and lodging for those moves. My wife went to see her during a rough spot this year. That added another $1100 for untimely travel, car, hotel and meals.</p>

<p>Also figure the cost of student health insurance if she will not be covered under your plan as a dependent. You should be able to get a cost from the school for this.</p>

<p>Maintenance contract for your child's computer. </p>

<p>And of course, books. Buying new and used books on Amazon was helpful and far cheaper than new books through the book store. Get the book list in advance and order early. Amazon Prime membership may be worthwhile as it gives you "free" 2 day shipping for qualifying purchases. Your child can get lots of things shipped directly to her through Amazon, which is great if your LAC is remote and has few shopping opportunities, like my daughter's school. You should be able to price this out in advance if you know what courses she is likely to take and can get a book list.</p>

<p>Good luck!</p>