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Supporting children at University after divorce

96 replies

brambee · 21/02/2019 10:59

I am after some opinions here. My DD is due to start university in September 2019. The full maintenance loan would be £11 672 (London, not living at home). However, due to her father's salary (over £280 000, yes, over 1/4 million) she will only get a basic rate of £5654. He has refused to top up the loan. He has said I need to pay the amount because I get a combined spousal maintenance/child element for the next 6 years due to the disparity in our income. My income is under £30 000 and I work full time. If I top up her loan that would use all of the extra money. My solicitor clearly said that the money was to support my DC when home from uni and give them a similar lifestyle to the one at their father's. (I also have an older DS at uni, XH does not top up his loan either but luckily DS managed to find a part time job and I help him out as much as possible.)
I cannot believe he will not support his children. I am so angry about this. I feel as if he is making the children's lives a misery to get at me. AIBU?

OP posts:
Oct18mummy · 21/02/2019 11:01

Have the children tried to talk to him and understand his reasons?

brambee · 21/02/2019 11:18

Yes. DD has been in tears. He says the money I get from the settlement is to pay for them and he has doesn't have to.

OP posts:
SD1978 · 21/02/2019 11:33

Unfortunately, given that you are receiving child support for two adult children, that's the purpose of that portion of the money. Can she be emancipated, stating that neither of you support her, to receive the full living away from home allowance? You'd lose the child support, but given that she'd gain it, would that not potentially benefit both of your kids?

mrsm43s · 21/02/2019 11:39

It seems tight on a salary of that size, sure.

However, he is still paying you child maintenance, for children who are now at university. That money needs to go to the children for them to support themselves while at uni, and you need to top up with your own contribution.

You can't really expect to keep in your own pocket child support for adult children who are living elsewhere!

numbbrain · 21/02/2019 12:22

I have 3 children at university and as they live with me their maintenance is calculated on my salary, not their dads.

That might make a difference to you. Are you assuming its done on both salaries?

brambee · 21/02/2019 12:22

OK. I hear what you are saying. However, my solicitor stated that the money was for me as well as them due to the huge disparity in income. I already pay money to support my DS and will do the same amount for my DD. Exh refuses to buy them anything other than basic food when they are visiting him. I buy all clothes etc for both.
I suppose I am disgusted by his incredibly tight attitude to money and that I feel that he would make the children live on a shoestring to get back at me. Perhaps this is emotion talking, but that is what it feels like!

OP posts:
numbbrain · 21/02/2019 12:28

It sounds as though he is very selfish.

I see the maintenance that I am paid as a contribution to keeping the family home for the children to come home to as well as feeding them when they are here.

Would they both get the full loan if calculations were solely on your wage. Then they would have enough for the time they are at uni.

All 3 of mine were allocated bursaries because of my low wage.

So neither me nor EXH pay them much.

mrsm43s · 21/02/2019 12:52

Is it spousal maintenance you get or child support?

If its child support, then its to support the children, not for your lifestyle, whatever you solicitor says!

If you get both, the paperwork should say what sum is child support and what sum is spousal maintenance. Spousal maintenance will also likely continue after the children have left education, where as child support will stop.

The child support portion should go towards topping up your children's uni costs, plus also your contribution from your own funds (not your ExHs child support). This would then leave you with your salary (minus appropriate contribution to uni costs) plus any spousal maintenance to live on.

I do find it tight that someone on quarter of a mill wouldn't want to give more to their children, but also, if he is already paying the top up to you, you can't expect him to pay it again to the children. Maybe it would help if he paid the spousal maintenance directly to you, and the child support directly to the children - that way he could see if there was a discrepancy between the amount he pays and the top up amount needed. That said, on the size of his salary, I would have thought that he would be paying child support well over and above the top up amount needed anyway.

NotBeingRobbed · 21/02/2019 12:55

I think it is very wrong that parents are not expected to contribute to their children’s costs when the state doesn’t offer a high enough maintenance loan to support them.

I am paying my son’s living cost while he has a loan for fees. Plus he earned some money himself towards his costs.

I had saved in order to help him but half of those savings are being taken away by his father in the (not yet agreed) divorce settlement. His father does not have to pay anything towards him.

So I earned and saved and lose half of that but I am still committed to my son’s education. Meanwhile his dad doesn’t give a brass farthing. As I see it, this is morally wrong but at least my children will see which parent believed in them!

HerRoyalNotness · 21/02/2019 12:55

Does your DD live with you? She should have used your income only on the application as it is household income it is based on. She’s made a mistake there.

Not to say that he shouldn’t of course help her on that kind of salary.

titchy · 21/02/2019 12:56

Why isnt she getting a higher loan? His salary isn't taken into account, just yours.

mrsm43s · 21/02/2019 13:14

Presumably the HH income that she would use would be OPs salary plus OPs spousal maintenance, plus OPs child support, (plus the salary of OPs partner, if she has one).

I suspect, given ExHs salary, that the spousal maintenance and child support she gets are v high, which would push her over the threshold for a higher loan amount. But if that is the case, then her ExH has already made his contribution. OP just needs to pass it on to the children.

TearingUpMyHeart · 21/02/2019 13:17

First off ... check the forms are filled out for just your income, not his

NotBeingRobbed · 21/02/2019 13:37

Lucky to get any maintenance when a child is over 18!

pallisers · 21/02/2019 13:45

I feel that he would make the children live on a shoestring to get back at me. Perhaps this is emotion talking, but that is what it feels like!

It feels like that because that is what he is doing. Getting back at you is more important to him than his daughter's welfare. If that isn't the case, then he is just a man who on a very large salary refuses to help his daughter or son through university. Either isn't pretty.

I suspect, given ExHs salary, that the spousal maintenance and child support she gets are v high, which would push her over the threshold for a higher loan amount. But if that is the case, then her ExH has already made his contribution. OP just needs to pass it on to the children.

She has said that if she tops up the loan she will use all of her combined spousal/child maintenance - so that sounds like about 6,000. I wouldn't consider a contribution toward your college age children of 6,000 per annum on a salary of 250,000 is very high. I would consider it parsimonious.

InsomniaTho · 21/02/2019 13:49

She needs to ring SF and tell them about the change in circumstances. Also email the Financial Support team at University, they may have funds available and will base it on this years income not last.

InsomniaTho · 21/02/2019 13:50

Try and sort it out between SF and Unicersity funds, then you can tell your ex to fuck right off and that you’ve sorted it yourselves Grin

Unfortunately it won’t help your DD feel any better about her Dads behaviour Sad

heidiwine · 21/02/2019 14:05

I’m going to play devil’s advocate here because the devil’s in the detail and what the OP hasn’t mentioned is the % of his net income she receives (and for how long she has been receiving it). I think this could be anything from 25% to 50%.

So, if OP is receiving 25% net plus roughly £30k in wages her hh income would be around £75k (with £45k of that tax free) which would be well over the threshold. If it’s in the region of 50% (which is not unheard of) the OPs income will be roughly the same as her exh.

Sure the ex should cough up and support his daughter at uni but it all depends on how much money OP is receiving and (if it’s not a general order) what proportion of the maintenance is child vs spousal. I very strongly believe that both parents are responsible for this kind of thing. They both should have been saving for it and both should have agreed how it was funded well in advance if either child leaving home to go to uni.

SparklySneakers · 21/02/2019 14:42

My ex is on about 1/8th of your ex's income and pays the bare minimum which is around £4K a year. So times that by 8 and he's paying a huge whack in maintenance PLUS spousal maintenance?? Plus your £30k. No idea what your spousal maintenance is but you must be getting around £80K just from your salary and child maintenance combined. But without you telling us any actual figures we don't actually know. Money a lot of single mums can only dream of.

SD1978 · 21/02/2019 15:09

I think you also need to try and start to accept that your lifestyle will never be comparable to your ex husbands again. You earn what would be considered a pretty decent wage (for anywhere out of London) plus receiving child support for two adult children, and spousal support, despite your own job. What he earns and will earn is sadly inconsequential. It sounds like you need to work out a budget, as many people would be able to find two children at uni with the wage you have alone, and you have extra on that. Use your money for the home. You should, be able to live ok with that wage. Accept that all child/spinal support goes to the kids, as it's not money you should be relying on, given many men have managed to get it stopped on appeal.

brambee · 21/02/2019 15:32

Hi all. Interesting comments. If my daughter were judged only on my income she would get the full maintenance loan. (We tried to do this for my son, but student loans would only give the minimum if no father wage was disclosed. I am registered as DS home address.) I would love to be on £80 000. But sadly not. Exh pays the minimum percentage of his income for one child and that will stop when she leaves school. Of course I understand that that is child maintenance and I use the money to support both children.
Perhaps I have an unfair settlement. 50% of his income? I don't think so! I support myself.
Pallisers: your calculations are correct. It would be £6000 a year to top up one child's maintenence loan and that is the amount I will get annually from exh. So, I will have to split it between both children as that is only fair.
Exh has refused to help either of them out.
I realise this is something we should have resolved earlier.

OP posts:
brambee · 21/02/2019 15:33

My actual salary is £26500.

OP posts:
InsomniaTho · 21/02/2019 15:35

As I said earlier, get on the phone to student finance and ask for them to make the calculation based on household income as you are now divorced. Then she will get the full loan.

Her Uni should have grants/bursaries etc available too.

mrsm43s · 21/02/2019 16:00

Looking at the online calculator, his maintenance for 1 child based on his salary should be around £15,000 per annum (presuming she lives full time with you), and that's not including any spousal maintenance. Presumably, however, this is a court order/settlement, so you may have agreed to less maintenance for more in other areas, i.e. a larger share of assets or pension etc. (and of course if you have done that, you can't then renegade and try to get more maintenance if you've already had assets in lieu)

But £6000 per annum straight doesn't seem correct at all. But even so, that £6000 fully tops up your DDs loan amount, so your ExDh is fully funding her, and you aren't contributing at all. Food/board during holidays could easily be your contribution to supporting her.

NotBeingRobbed · 21/02/2019 16:13

My ex won’t be contributing a penny either towards costs at uni or at home so you are doing pretty well!

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