SD's $288,000 College Tuition
SD15 got her PSAT scores back. 99th percentile. DH is all smiles and of course it has been the main topic of conversation everywhere we go. But at the celebratory dinner on Monday DH and SD were discussing college visits and she said with this big smile on her face, "Hope you've been saving up, you know I'm not going to some state school." I thought this was a joke - DH and I put ourselves through school with scholarships and loans. Whatever money she gets from DH's parents and BM will have to be enough or she can do like DH and I did. Especially since we are in no financial position to contribute. When I was pregnant DH and I even agreed that given our financial situation we would give our DS a small money gift on his 18th birthday but he was on his own for college after that.
I asked DH about it and he told me that there was nothing he could do, it was in the divorce settlement, we are just going to have to take loans. All of that paperwork is in the filing cabinet so I looked to see what it said. It is very detailed, at BM's insistence I'm sure, specifying not only that they would evenly split the tuition and fees of wherever the skids chose to go (public OR private) but also room and board, necessary expenses (books, clothing, activities, computers, travel) and a monthly allowance for miscellaneous expenses. They will even pay for fraternities/sororities and semesters abroad. No cap, no mention of scholarships, grants or aid.
Last night DH showed me the list of colleges SD, BM and DH were planning on visiting next year (not together). There are 10 in consideration so far, no public schools or even schools in our state, and DH/BM's illustrious alma mater ("Where you and mom fell in loooove", as SD likes to say) was on the list. According to the school website, 4 years at that college plus room and board, books, expenses and flights will cost a total of $288,270. Lord knows how much the monthly allowance and sorority fees will be. I checked 4 of the other colleges, all are within $30k of that number. What. The. F*!&#.
At 2am after my internet searching I woke up DH because I wanted to show him the staggering amounts he had stupidly agreed to - are we really responsible for coming up with $144k for SD. DH told me just relax, his parents college fund for SD and SS has $70K each, maybe more so it's already half taken care of, plus he has been putting his bonus into college funds for the skids so we only needed to take out $50K in loans. His bonus is family money as much as my bonus is, so that made me mad, like he was hiding money (we have shared finances).
I asked him how much money was in our sons college account from DHs parents and but I already know the answer - zero. And then he said I thought you wanted DS to pay his own way through college like we did, and it's so far away we don't even know if DS is going to want to go to college. Then he said that this situation has nothing to do with DS so why would I even mention it. Of course it does! Household money, our family's money, is involved.
This seems ridiculous. When I was getting a divorce I brought up college for my bios and my lawyer said it wasn't worth it to pursue, it was hard to enforce, and at that time I was the main breadwinner. Can a court enforce this? Can BM sue us if we refuse to pay for all of our half? I am not willing to go into major debt so that princess perfect who barely acknowledges me or my kids existence can have a worry-free college experience.