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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:
titchy · 21/02/2019 16:29

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 don't know when your son went but loans are now based on household rather than parental income so she WILL get more. Unless your ex is still living with you...?

heidiwine · 21/02/2019 16:54

You said in your first post:
I get a combined spousal maintenance/child element for the next 6 years due to the disparity in our income

and in a more recent post

Exh pays the minimum percentage of his income for one child and that will stop when she leaves school.

Theses statements contradict each other. I get that you’re angry that your ex is not contributing. I feel sad for your daughter that she’s being brought into these discussions. Maybe, just like your son, she will have to get a job. I worked almost full time when I was at uni (weekends and evenings). I missed out on some aspects of student life but overall I graduated with less debt, better employment prospects and complete financial independence (a value I’ve held onto for the rest of my life to date).

Everytimeref · 21/02/2019 16:59

If your divorced then only your income would be used for student finance. If you have a new partner then their income would be included.

crimsonlake · 21/02/2019 17:07

I have 2 children at university and I am divorced. If your daughter is living with you, her loan will be calculated on your income only and not your ex's, how has this error happened? They will ask to see a copy of your Decree Absolute to verify you are actually divorced, get on the phone to student finance asap.

pallisers · 21/02/2019 17:55

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

No she isn't. You are just doing worse. A man who won't contribute towards uni costs when he is a high earner is a piece of shit imo.

It seems clear to me that the OP gets maintenance of a certain amount which will end when her daughter finishes school. Then her dd goes to university and she will then get about 6k a year for 6 years. She will use this to help both her children at university because neither of them get a full loan. She will also use it to help support them during holidays etc. Maybe you all have children who waved bye bye when they went off to university and never needed another penny or a bedroom or a place to stay during holidays but most people don't. And most people don't want their children to lack a home base and a family to help them out at age 18. Unfortunately this father isn't like that. At the very least he should be called for what he is.

And I am bemused by people telling her to keep the daughter out of the discussions. This is the dd's university course, her life, her father. Why should she not ask him for support? If she is old enough to get a job and support herself as people suggest, then she is old enough to ask her parent for help and know that her father earns a lot but doesn't see any reason to support her beyond 3k a year. You may agree with this or not (always amazed at how many people on MN think think children are their own problem at age 18 or even younger) but why shouldn't she know.

OP, I think on a practical level you should look at the advice on this thread about applying for loans and household income.

titchy · 21/02/2019 18:11

She will use this to help both her children at university because neither of them get a full loan.

Except they will get a full loan....

pallisers · 21/02/2019 18:48

well she thinks they won't which was the basis of her question... but based on the advice given on this thread, she needs to look at that again.

NotBeingRobbed · 21/02/2019 18:49

I didn’t mean the dad shouldn’t help. But £6k a year is a good contribution towards the costs compared to the £0k I will get. I wonder how the OP is getting this for the kids over 18? My ex has said that my DS of 19 will not get a penny from him! I think it’s disgraceful and I am determined to help my child with his studies. He didn’t stop being his son when he hit 18!

AlexaShutUp · 21/02/2019 18:58

OP, as others have said, it's the household income which is relevant. If your DD lives with you, then it's your income that will be taken into account and not your ex's. If you re-married/moved in with a new partner, his income would also count.

brambee · 21/02/2019 20:36

Obviously I need to look at the student loan application again. Last year I did call them but, although living in my own place, I only had a decree nisi and after a lot of effort/forms and calls, my son was still told he would only get the the minimum loan.
DD lives 55% of the time with me, 45% with her dad. Although recently she has reduced the time there considerably which was her own decision due to a poor relationship with his new partner. I have not, and will not, ask for more maintenance.
Currently I get child maintenance. This will then stop in September and I then get the annual sum. I negotiated this through mediation following lawyer advice not to take anything less. I am sorry to hear that other people are not in such a fortunate position. There is no stated 'spousal maintenance' or 'child support' ratio for this: it is just a lump sum for me to do with as I see fit.
I will of course support both my DC as far as I can, but the point still stands that some of that money is actually for me and not just for their maintenance. I can spend it on heating etc just as you can with child maintenance. I do not see that I should have to give it all to the DC when Exh refuses to give them anything. It is just a manipulation of my maternal instincts.

OP posts:
TearingUpMyHeart · 21/02/2019 20:43

You dont need the nisi - just a letter from council tax showing single person occupancy is enough

crimsonlake · 21/02/2019 21:05

Perhaps you should have stated from the start that she lives with you both more or less 50/50 as I expect that changes things. As I said previously student finance asked to see proof of my Decree Absolute.

TearingUpMyHeart · 21/02/2019 21:08

They might have asked, but that is not th e only proof they actually accept. Separated parents can send other proof

NotBeingRobbed · 21/02/2019 21:31

I can’t claim single occupancy on my council tax as my son is here in the holidays and over 18!!! I am the only person paying the bill though!

TearingUpMyHeart · 21/02/2019 21:33

They are supposed to still accept that as proof. Or a sworn oath at solicitors - doesnt cost much

TearingUpMyHeart · 21/02/2019 21:38

Is your son a student, notbeingrobbed? At my council, that is still single person discount as he doesnt count for council tax purposes

NotBeingRobbed · 21/02/2019 21:54

He’s a student but they are sure he still counts as a second resident - even though he is away for more than nine months a year.

TearingUpMyHeart · 21/02/2019 22:15

Yes, the rules vary by council I think. Mine is still single person as students are exempt

titchy · 21/02/2019 22:30

He’s a student but they are sure he still counts as a second resident - even though he is away for more than nine months a year.

That's wrong. He's still a student even in the summer holidays - that's why they can't sign on. You need to challenge that.

NotBeingRobbed · 21/02/2019 23:08

I will look into that, thanks.

crimsonlake · 21/02/2019 23:56

Students are exempt from council tax, for instance any student renting a flat will not be paying council tax.

MissedTheBoatAgain · 22/02/2019 00:23

However, my solicitor stated that the money was for me as well as them due to the huge disparity in income

If a global figure was agreed that that is made up of both Spousal and Child Maintenance then your solicitor is correct. Unfortunate that the global figure does not give an indication of the split between the two.

Currently I get child maintenance. This will then stop in September and I then get the annual sum

This is where it is confusing. Is the annual sum a global figure that includes support for the children or is it purely Spousal Maintenance?

I do not see that I should have to give it all to the DC when Exh refuses to give them anything

No obligation for either parent to pay towards University as once child is 18 they are responsible for their own decisions. If the annual sum includes an amount (all be in not exactly specified as a figure) for Children after they reach 18 your Ex can argue that he is contributing.

Tactfulish · 22/02/2019 12:18

This reply has been deleted

The OP has now deregistered, as they have privacy concerns. We have agreed to take this down at their request.

lovemistymornings · 23/02/2019 00:05

I had a similar situation with my XH and consulted my solicitor about this. Your XH does not have to support your children at university if he decides not to - like you I had to use my child maintenance payments for my youngest to help support my eldest. The problem with grants occurs if both parents declare their incomes on the grant application. Based on our joint salaries my son just got the minimum grant. We tried to get his grant adjusted when we divorced but Student Finance weren't helpful, they don't do retrospective changes to grant applications.

But the good news is that grant applications are renewed yearly - so your XH simply needs to declare that he will not support your child and they should then get a grant based solely on your salary.

NotBeingRobbed · 23/02/2019 08:09

It’s not a grant, it’s a loan and the interest rate charged is 6%!

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