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Tuition fees for uni and maintenance

(15 Posts)
sunnysidesucks Wed 29-Mar-17 15:57:19

I'm a bit upset about a disagreement my ex and I are having re tuition fees for our DS when he starts uni in September.

My ex has always paid their private school fees (we have 2 DS). He earns approx £500k and has a substantial amount of equity (over £2m).

He wants to split uni fees 50/50 with me.

I am a low earner and cannot afford to pay 50% of the fees, so I have suggested DS takes a student loan to cover tuition fees. TBH I actually feel that seeing as ex will not have his school fees, which are much higher than uni fees, he could pay substantially more than 50%.

He is adamant that our DS should not start his working life with a loan.

When we divorced 4 years ago, and my ex wouldn't agree to paying uni fees in the future, and my solicitor advised I should take him back to court at the time, and he would probably have to pay. I don't really want to do that now because it would cause too much upset for my DS, and I can't afford to, but am interested to hear if anybody has any ideas/suggestions/experience of this situation. Thank you.

Penfold007 Wed 29-Mar-17 16:12:25

Surely uni fees are the responsibility of the person going to uni? If your ExH wants to pay 50% of DS's fees that's up to him but if you can't match fund him so be it.

Hermonie2016 Wed 29-Mar-17 16:48:06

It's fair for your ds to fund his fees, and if ex wants to contribute great.There is actually a financial case (see Martin lewis) for not paying fees upfront.

Most students will have this debt so so would not feel guilty about not contributing.In my experience it helps students to really focus on the course they choose as they recognise it's not free.


unfortunateevents Wed 29-Mar-17 17:01:31

Hermione sorry this is a bit off-topic but do you have a link to that Martin Lewis explanation? DH and I can fortunately fund much of DS's uni fees and accommodation but are wondering if it actually makes sense or not to do so up front?

OP, at 18, your son is now an adult. If your DH is not willing to pay all of DS's tuition and you are not financially able to, then he doesn't get to dictate whether DS does or doesn't start his working life with a loan. Personally, I don't think it does our children any harm to contribute to their own education, he has many years to pay it back.

NerrSnerr Wed 29-Mar-17 17:02:22

I think you need to discuss this with your son. Your ex will pay 50% and you need to explain you can't match it and it's up to your son whether he takes a loan or not. He'll be an adult when he goes so needs to take ownership.

sunnysidesucks Wed 29-Mar-17 17:13:12

Thank you for these points of view. I think it seems a loan is the sensible way, but the ridiculous bit is also, that unless I pay 50%, the ex won't contribute 50%!

Crispsheets Wed 29-Mar-17 17:15:31

Presumably your DS lives with you? If so he may get a bursary based on your low income. My DC's get them. About £4000 a year

sunnysidesucks Wed 29-Mar-17 17:18:11

He lives 50/50 with us both. I think that for busaries they take into account both incomes? (they should do really - seeing as his fathers earns £££ why should he be eligible, when someone else really doesn't have the money)?

Penfold007 Wed 29-Mar-17 19:41:08

I think this is the Martin Lewis link mentioned above

Crispsheets Thu 30-Mar-17 07:05:26

Ah mine are resident just with me. Never stay at dads and never have done. It was another good reason to divorce 😀
Ex is loaded.
And i agree they should look at both incomes but they don't.

unfortunateevents Thu 30-Mar-17 07:57:44

Penfold thank you for posting that link, very useful.

SheilaFentiman Thu 30-Mar-17 08:00:52

If ex won't pay unless you do, he's clearly less bothered about your DS taking a loan and more bothered about fucking YOU around.

"I won't be contributing; you can do as you wish"

QuarterMileAtATime Thu 30-Mar-17 18:18:34

Sheesh, I mean, this is hardly news to you, but your ex is a piece of work.
What kind of person gains more satisfaction from making their ex-wife struggle than from putting their own child through further education, especiallly when they can so easily afford it? The mind boggles.
I would call his bluff. If the worst-case scenario is DS getting a loan like many others have to, that's fine. If it bothers your ex so much, it sounds like he would be able to pay it off at any point in the future. Your ex may soon realise that helping your DS financially is just that - helping his son. At the moment, I suspect he still sees it as a version of helping you. The further into adulthood your DS gets, the less of an issue this should be to him.

user1487947495 Thu 30-Mar-17 18:21:01

You are unlikely to get much sympathy given that most students have no choice but to take a loan for tuition fees.

salsamad Thu 30-Mar-17 18:28:50

I think it might be wise to see how much actual maintenance loan he would be entitled to due to your exh high income. Check out the directgov website for their student loan calculator.
Parental salary of over £42,000 reduces the amount of maintenance loan considerably (I don't know about much higher salaries).
It may be better for your DS to take out the student loans for his tuition fees and for your exh to pay your DS living expenses, uni halls, food, bills etc with you contributing if you are able e.g. paying for some text books.

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