My plan for dealing with SS19's tuition shortfall - thoughts?
So I spent a bunch of time running numbers and I figured out there are two reasons SS19 is short on tuition this year:
1. Because BM has not paid her "promised" share. ("promised" is in quotes bc she's promised various amounts over the past year, but I've decided to hold her to her most recent promised amount of $10,000. This seems reasonable for a woman who makes over $100,000 per year. That she wants to spend her money sending the the other kids to private school is neither here nor there)
2. Even had she paid her share, SS19 would still be several grand short. This is due to poor (no) planning on his part. He has demonstrated he cannot manage money at this point.
But when I look at the next 3 years, SS19 is moving off-campus and costs drop. Also he is eligible for increased federal loans. The net result is that if we keep paying our current amount, and BM pays hers, and SS19 kicks in his summer earnings, it would work.
I could just refuse to let DH cosign loans, and let SS19 drop out or transfer, but I think this would cause DH to deeply resent me and a really severe rift in our marriage. So here is my plan, fully recognizing that some of you will disagree with it.
In order to fix the tuition shortfall for this semester, we will advance money from next semester. BM will also need to pay the remainder of what she owes for this year. We will not advance any money until she does this. Then DH will cosign a loan for the amount of the shortfall (several grand) to use for next semester's tuition. (before anyone asks, BM cannot cosign any loans due to recent bankruptcy). I will allow DH to do this under the following conditions:
- He prints and shows SS19 all the emails from his mom promising various amounts of money, including her filings from their recent court case where she argued DH had no obligation to pay for SS19's college tuition, only the younger kids' private school. This may seem harsh, but SS19 needs to see who his mom is.
- SS19 must sign over all his summer earnings checks to us. We will keep them in an account for him to use for his share of tuition ($3000). He has already proved he cannot be trusted to save them himself. He also must open his grade portal so DH can see it, maintain a 3.0 GPA each semester, and apply for any scholarships we find for him.
- BM will be in charge of paying SS19 food (calculated as $200 per month for 9 months), plus his rent ($6000 per year), plus an additional $1100 of tuition per semester. This comes to $10,000. We will not pay any amount toward his tuition until her $1100 is paid. This is to avoid her trying to get us to pay first, and then her not paying her share, and us having to advance money so SS19 can register for courses for the next semester which has already happened. If she does not pay her money he will have to take a semester off.
- This is the last loan will take out for SS19. It will cover the amount of the shortfall due to SS19's poor planning. It does not cover, nor will we ever take out a loan to cover, any amount due to BM failure to pay her share. Nor will we ever pay our tuition money before BM pays her share.
- If SS19 receives additional aid in subsequent years (once SD17 is in college too it will likely be increased), this will decrease our contribution, and we will divert that money to pay off the cosigned loan. BM and SS19 contributions will stay the same.
- SS19 will be asked to sign a contract between him and DH stating he agrees to these conditions, and that he will sign a cosigner release for DH at the earliest opportunity (generally 12 months). We will send a copy of the signed contract to BM as an FYI. If she refuses to pay her promised share, then at least we all know why this failed.
If DH or SS19 objects to any of these conditions, then there will be no cosigning a loan.
Also I will tell DH that all subsequent skids going to college will need to follow this same plan, and that their tuition after aid and loans cannot be more than the amount of DH's and BM's contribution, plus their summer earnings. Fool me once shame on you... I am NOT letting this happen again.
ETA: I already have a prenup stating DH not allowed to take out any new debts without my permission. I will also draw up a document stating that he is solely responsible for the repayment of this debt should we divorce and that it cannot be considered in any way a joint debt. (I will not cosign the loan, only he will, so the bank would only hold him responsible but a divorce court may see it differently).