Massachusetts College Costs and changing child support

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Latest post Tue, Jan 3 2017 1:14 PM by Jsin70. 75 replies.
  • Sat, Dec 3 2016 12:21 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Massachusetts College Costs and changing child support

    I want a hard line schedule,that if it's not mediated promptly then its petitioned to court by mid Jan and I'd want more attorney aboard now if not already so...



  • Sat, Dec 3 2016 12:44 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Massachusetts College Costs and changing child support

    You have already been waltzed past a key deadline for one of NJs top instate public institutions ....no more snoozIng....and some schools have unadvertised practice of best aid packages are offered to early birds .....and a late applicant may get a slot but no grant aid is left for that slot ...



  • Sat, Dec 3 2016 3:03 PM In reply to

    • Jsin70
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    Re: Massachusetts College Costs and changing child support

    One more question, could this be my backup plan since I am late to the game and many deadlines have passed to apply for in state schools.  What about as a second plan requesting to cap to her lowest cost school that she applied to?   She applied to 9 colleges and out of them she already got accepted to 1 and that cost is about $32K per year so not far from UMass costs.  And she said this was one of her top three school choices.  Since I know she got in already and if she gets into one of her other schools that is much higher and wants to try to go to that one instead, maybe the courts will order it capped to her lowest cost school that  she applied and was accepted to? Since it was her choice anyways!   

    Thoughts?

  • Sat, Dec 3 2016 3:56 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Massachusetts College Costs and changing child supportu

    I would NOT introduced new variables which give mom more room for delay or invite court to step into uncharted waters .

    IF she has an option right on target with UMass cap logic I'd stop there and seek to cap my 1/3 ideally a cap on everything from my side of table ..

     

     

     



  • Mon, Dec 5 2016 8:59 AM In reply to

    • Jsin70
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    Re: Massachusetts College Costs and changing child supportu

    I just thought of another idea.  Since, CP has not responded to the certified letter I sent a few months ago asking to discuss college contributions, can't her lack of response be considered that she is not expecting any financial contribution from me expecially since she has not involved me in any of the research, selection, consultaion or decisions where child should apply?

    Why should it only be one way that if I don't say anything or try to discuss it with her the courts can consider that I am giving my approval that she can apply anywhere at any cost but her lack of response and silence is not considered?  I would venture to bet that her lack of response or any communication with me when "I have tried several times" could be viewed by the court that she does not need my help! 

    I am sending follow up letter this week and I think I should include at the end of the letter that if I don't hear from her that I will consider her silence approval that she does not need my financial help with college!

    Thoughts?

  • Tue, Dec 6 2016 7:01 AM In reply to

    • Jsin70
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    Re: Massachusetts College Costs and changing child supportu

    Hello everyone! Wondering if anyone saw my latest post?  Just looking for final feedback!!!

    Thank you!

  • Tue, Dec 6 2016 7:47 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Massachusetts College Costs and changing child supportu

    My lay guess...courts will bend to not visit parents games upon child .....and per your earlier posts...Mom is  a lot about money!!!

    IF there is a valid choice close to UMass guides on platter ...I would much more proactive to clearly communicate  I can  afford total $ XX  paid to Mom for that specific  affordable choice ...but I'm not a  lawyer nor in MA ...



  • Mon, Jan 2 2017 7:54 PM In reply to

    • Jsin70
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    Re: Massachusetts College Costs and changing child supportu

    Update, sent letter to ex asking to discuss costs. Received a letter back from a lawyer that she hired requesting mediation with the same mediator we used three years ago that I liked. I had no lawyer at that mediation even though she had this one. Also requested last two years W-2 and a Mass Probate financial statement.  Here are my few questions:

    #1 I am thinking about representing myself again in mediation and saving attorney costs for court, if needed.  What do I have to lose if I have in my head a total amount I want to pay that I believe is more than fair?  Do you think that is not wise?  I am assuming I start low and she starts high  and we meet somewhere in the  middle and if we don't agree then we go to court. This is not child support but college contribution.

    #2 I don't want to hand over my last two years of w-2 this far in advance of mediation. It just gives her lawyer all this ample time to do all these calculations of what I can afford or can't and prepare a defense for mediation.  Do I really have to give them now just because she asked for them as mediation is non bidning or can't I push back and say we can exchange them just before mediation? Especially since this is for college costs and not a standard child support calculation?  It does say we need to exchange financials in  our divorce agreement, but my ex does not abide by our agreement at all anymore, not sure why I need to if she does not!! (has violated all visitation  arrangments last two years, does not tell me when child switches middle or high school (2 times), never consulted with me on any  choice of colleges and just applied without telling me and all schools were out of state.  I don't have a relationship with my daughter anymore.  (have not seen her in a year and half, dont know who her  friends are, if she works, what she does etc. Her mom has tried as hard as she  can to alienate me from her  life and now the  daughter acts just like her mother and does not call or want to see me or anything. 

    #3 In Massachusetts, a child over age 18, the standard child support guidelines don't apply anymore.  They base child support payments (if any) on if the child goes to college and  what the cost of that college is and depending on the  cost of the college either order a same, smaller amount or none at all..  So, this language while self explanatory is vague and does not explain to me how a court calculate child support over age 18 but that they do somehow in certain situations but don't use the standard guidlelines. So, this tells me they won't (a court if we end up there) does not use my income and my ex income to calculate a "new" child support amount based on current  incomes anymore because she is over 18 next month, but either take my  current child support amount and  adjust it down to a smaller amount or to none, depending on the cost of college.  How should I approach a child support amount in mediation if there is no longer any standard to apply it to? I don't really know how to handle that piece and don't want  to hire a lawyer just to figure that  piece out...

    #4 Do I have any leg to stand on for anything that my daughter won't call me or visit me for the last year and half and my current wife and her half brother, she has not seen in 2 1/2 years?  I am completely alienated.  I am not saying I don't want  to pay for college and help out but I don't think I should be on the  hook for a 60K year college no matter how much money I make under the current circumstances.  If my other child who lives with me would not speak to me while living in my house, you can bet I would not be forking over money to pay for their college, why should it be any different with this one just because they don't live with me...  I feel like a bank account and nothing else.

    Thanks in advance.

     

     

     

  • Mon, Jan 2 2017 7:58 PM In reply to

    • Jsin70
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    Re: Massachusetts College Costs and changing child supportu

    Forgot to add, I requested two months ago to meet with her and her guidance counselor and asked for her to give me copies of all acceptances letters and financial award letters as  they come in.  I know for a fact she got accepted to two colleges as required by divorce agreement.  My ex ignored this and has not sent me anything and did not meet with me and guidance counselor required.  Why should I turn around and give her my W-2 when she ignores divorce agreement and does not do what she is supposed to?  I know I eventually will, but why should I jump and do what she says when she does not just because she hired an expensive lawyer to demand this stuff... 

  • Tue, Jan 3 2017 5:19 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Massachusetts College Costs and changing child supportu

    laymans rambles :

    If the order says do X , why would one mediate the prospect of doing Z ?

    IF you get stalled out by Moms games beyond the point of implementing a choice consistent with the order, rules, and college timelines ...some MA court may be reluctant to visit parent delays upon child and vIew it that you acquiesced to the actual outcome ..and or mediator may take same view of external timelines . 

    ME, I think it's time you used counsel and forced it into MA courts...

     

    Hey if her  attorney wants to go on an fishing trip for information that is not relevant to the equation or I ultimately need provide....so enjoy her expensive fishing trip ....and why not send her on one of her own thru her counsel of course .......

     

     



  • Tue, Jan 3 2017 5:28 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Massachusetts College Costs and changing child supportu

    How your daughter treats you is not legally relevant ..and your comments can get twisted against you .

    You have major points in your favor ...the actual language of the order , the MA UMass instate cap view within a logical parallel to NJ instate rates , Moms failure to follow the joint decIsion and cooperation lines in order 

    Technically speaking the NCPs finances are not relevant to any college, especially public sector college , which follows the FAFSA methodology as to financial aid .



  • Tue, Jan 3 2017 5:42 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Massachusetts College Costs and changing child supportu

    The application of the 1/3 1/3 1/3 view to UMass Cap gets one to a number you can afford  if that is the total ? 



  • Tue, Jan 3 2017 6:08 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Massachusetts College Costs and changing child supportu

    OP...I m not sure that new  CS guidelines apply post 18 for a student in ft college ...thru age 21 ...MA is rather odd and you best be using reliable current resources .   



  • Tue, Jan 3 2017 7:48 AM In reply to

    • Jsin70
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    Re: Massachusetts College Costs and changing child supportu

    Child support guidelines over 18 are vague.  I think they intended it to be written that way so a judge has discretion to do what he wants per case.    They basically say a judge can order it or can reduce or terminate it depending on the cost of college the child wants to attend. 

    Therefore, I have to come up with a strategy on child support and college for mediation.  (by the way, we are required to mediate in our divorce agreement before being allowed to approach the courts)

    I guess I should just come up with a total amount (child support and college) that I think I can afford and is fair and shoot for that in mediation and if they don't agree, then go to court over it?

    But should I bring a counsel to mediation or not? I think you are saying due to college deadlines to accept, I am better off getting a deal done in mediation than dragging it out past college deadlines in court, so I should bring a lawyer to mediation instead of going by myself to ensure I don't drag it out?

    Thanks again.

  • Tue, Jan 3 2017 11:08 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Massachusetts College Costs and changing child supportu

    Fair is in eye of beholder ....but the courts may have some legal reference points and you would be smart to use the reference points that count and a skilled advocate in that forum. 

    As a layman I would be nervous about a blame game for delay of game and the childs viable choices.  I get it that Mom kept you out of the loop ..but I'm nervous that your way of saying or writing thngs does not serve your view well...and that delay serves moms hand.  Frankly I  would take great pains to lay a foundation for my having been ahead of the curve to get some colleges under consideration that are affordable et al ...but I think I would be using a pro for the steps and words  and copies of the order with highlights . 

     

    And Id be a bit nervous about any delay of rather bland income info exchange being twisted as delay on my part. ( Might be wise to file for an extension of 2016 returns--cannot produce what is not yet existing.)   

    You of course are asking for and getting all the information you are entitled to get ?  

    If I recall your prior posts, Mom was a bit creative in not reporting what may have been a hefty amount of pecuniary income (tuition remission) as required under MA rules ...so pay attention ..but by themselves her past gaps are not relevant to college choices....

    Quite frankly if this hits a judge you want to be one with clean hands 

     



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