U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Non-Romantic Relationships
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 04-08-2014, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Westchester County
1,096 posts, read 1,386,290 times
Reputation: 971

Advertisements

I am a newly divorced man starting over again in a basement apartment. My ex wife kept the house and my 16 year old daughter lives with her. My ex enrolled my daughter in a SAT prep class which cost $600. I paid half and my ex covered the other half. Now we are told that the class has ben canceled (due to low enrollment) and the only other class being offered is $1,099. Since the other class was canceled they were willing to take $150 off of the more expensive class. Of course my ex signed her up (because money grows on trees). I can barely keep my head above water, yet she is pressing on with the fact that she wants my daughter to attend a private college. I can help pay for a state college (I was even willing to get a security job at a school just for her to attend school for free) as my salary is almost half of what my wife makes and now on my own I my retirement plans have changed as I have to work a lot longer than I wanted to. I did not plan on being divorced, but it seems my wife thinks sending my daughter to a private school at $80,000 a year and up is still a good move. I know in this day and age parents now get sued by their children for refusing to pay but I don't plan on working the rest of my life to pay off my daughter's college debt either. When I was married and there were 2 salaries coming into the home we had just hit a stride where most of my salary was then able to be banked. Now the dynamic has changed and unfortunately adjustments have to be made. My ex is in this fantasy where she believes even though the marriage is over the financial freedoms and advantages we both enjoyed are just no longer there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 04-08-2014, 01:50 PM
 
15,254 posts, read 16,819,147 times
Reputation: 25432
I'm not sure what you're question is. Are you being unreasonable because you can't pay for the SAT course? Or for the private college?

Are you paying child support and if so, are you up to date on that obligation?

You can only pay what you can pay, regardless of anyone else's dreams and desires. You won't be doing your daughter a bit of good if you borrow thousands to send her to private school and are broke when you retire.

You'll have to sit your daughter down at some point and explain how you plan to contribute to her education and be clear what your limits are. Does she know about your offer to get a security job so she can get tuition waived? All of the "private college" talk may be coming from your ex and not from your daughter.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2014, 02:01 PM
 
428 posts, read 399,342 times
Reputation: 541
It seems reasonable that you pay what you can afford. Does your daughter want to attend this more expensive private college? If so, she can foot the added cost. That's what part-time jobs and student loans are for.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2014, 02:02 PM
 
13,677 posts, read 13,575,490 times
Reputation: 39884
What you have to balance is what you've promised your child, what you can or are willing to pay and what your child can comfortably shoulder on her own, not to mention what her goals are.

What kind of student is she? What are her extracurriculars? What did she score on her PSATs? What are her ambitions?

A SAT prep course can help immensely, but if your daughter is already scoring high on the practice tests, it may be unnecessary. I scored a 1500 some 20 years ago (100 points off perfect in that scoring system), and what I found helped the most was reading multiple SAT prep books and taking practice tests over and over again. I took an "in school" SAT prep course taught by one of our teachers that was about 50 bucks. How familiar are you with how your daughter learns and what kind of student she is?
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2014, 02:11 PM
 
13,158 posts, read 20,772,581 times
Reputation: 35402
SAT courses rarely help immensely. Your daughter has time to take a couple of tests before the college application process, and she should. If her scores are low, have her take the ACT. I had two kids who did very well on the SAT, the 3rd one did horribly, but performed much better on the ACT.

Doesn't your high school offer free or low-cost practice sessions, along with tips on how to do well? Our schools in NJ did. Even so, after seeing how my sons did on the practice tests, we relaxed, and just encouraged them to use the College Board online practice sessions.

Show this to your ex:
Does SAT Prep Really Help? - Westchester Magazine - November 2009 - Westchester, NY
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2014, 02:35 PM
 
6,475 posts, read 9,921,802 times
Reputation: 10919
What does your divorce settlement say? Meet that, and if you have any extra, go ahead and contribute. You're not obligated to stay in the poorhouse because of your wife's wishes.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2014, 02:49 PM
 
3,154 posts, read 3,058,956 times
Reputation: 8686
SAT course is a waste of money. I teach test prep for a living, and even I would not pay that much for a course. I also know that most of the big prep companies are not that good. Has she even taken a practice SAT on her own to see what her score is? You could probably get a personal tutor for less than the price of that course. In fact, I'm sure you can. So yes, your wife is being unreasonable and is not spending wisely.

Also, SAT is not the only thing that matters for college admissions. Honestly, if she's not going Ivy League, then it really doesn't matter that much. Private overall is not really any better than public, either (although that might depend on your state), so again that's a foolish waste of money. Your daughter may have to settle for a public uni like the rest of the paupers, and perhaps you should consider private only if she really is a great student and there are no public schools at her level in your state (or on the other hand, she's not that great, and can't get into a decent public school).

But you know that everyone hates their ex and thinks they waste money, and most of the time they aren't telling the whole story. I know a guy who left his wife and half a dozen kids for a younger woman, and then quit his job in order not to pay child support. He's actually running around town talking about how his wife spent all his money and wanted unreasonable amounts from him and forced him to do this. So I'm wondering if perhaps you did something awful that you aren't mentioning, that might make your wife feel less inclined to save you money.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2014, 02:58 PM
 
47,573 posts, read 60,604,538 times
Reputation: 22283
The courts decided what you are obligated to pay. Lots of kids still get scholarships, lots of kids still work and pay their tuition themselves, in fact tuition assistance is still a pretty common job benefit.

If your ex plans to have your daughter move away to go to college, she really doesn't need a whole big house all to herself and could sell it to pay for college and live in a basement apartment also. One thing about divorce, an ex no longer has total say over what you do.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2014, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Wisconsin
17,005 posts, read 17,320,800 times
Reputation: 41259
Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
The courts decided what you are obligated to pay. Lots of kids still get scholarships, lots of kids still work and pay their tuition themselves, in fact tuition assistance is still a pretty common job benefit.

If your ex plans to have your daughter move away to go to college, she really doesn't need a whole big house all to herself and could sell it to pay for college and live in a basement apartment also. One thing about divorce, an ex no longer has total say over what you do.
Great post!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 04-08-2014, 03:29 PM
 
1,191 posts, read 1,534,703 times
Reputation: 3440
I would not pay any more towards the cost of the SAT prep. I would also let the ex-wife know (politely) that in the future, any expenses above child support should be discussed before she signs her up or talks to your daughter about them to see if you are able to contribute. If she earns twice as much money as you, she should really be footing 2/3 of the cost, and you 1/3. That's only fair.

I don't believe any child is entitled to a private college education if it's outside the family's means. And in this case it sounds like it is outside your means. She needs to apply for scholarships and she needs to have a firm understanding BEFORE she goes into the application process what you are able to contribute towards college. There is nothing wrong with a good state university in most cases. If it is so important to HER to go to a private college, important enough that she have loans to pay back for years and that's fine with her, she can choose that. But I would make it clear to her that you have budgeted X amount per year she's in school. If she chooses to use it towards a state school, great. If she chooses to put it towards a private school and it doesn't go all the way, it's her choice to make up the rest of the money through loans. But I would NOT ruin my own financial future merely for her to go to a private college. There is nothing wrong with a state school.

You don't have to go into the details of the divorce, but she should be old enough to understand that circumstances change in life. Sometimes a parent loses a job. Sometimes a marriage breaks up. Sometimes a parent becomes disabled and can't work. Sometimes a parent dies. This will not be the last time she will have to learn to adjust plans because of what life throws at you. Offering what money you can reasonably contribute and offering that you will get a job at a state school to help her go for reduced tuition (or whatever) puts the decision in her hands while not getting you in a situation where you're over extended.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Non-Romantic Relationships
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2019, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top