Who Else Wants To Know Who Pays For Expensive College and University Costs for Your Kids? Part Two
It’s important to understand how Ontario family law views the payment of child support and post-secondary costs for your children.
Hi, my name is Thomas O’Malley. I’m an experienced family lawyer in Durham Region and the GTA.
I gave the basic formula for the payment of child support and post-secondary costs in another video. In short, the Ontario family law usually has the adult child contribute a certain amount towards their university and college costs and the parents pay the remaining amount on a proportionate to income basis.
For example, the parents in a recent case had two adult children. One son attended university while he lived with his mother. The other son attended university in another city.
The father earned $182,000 per year. The mother was unemployed and she received $3,500 a month in spousal support from the husband. One son had investments of $41,821 and the other son had investments of $41,822 as a result of monetary gifts from their grandfather.
The Ontario Court of Appeal decided that the father had to continue to pay the regular child support amount under the Child Support Guidelines to the mother for the adult child who was living at home and attending university. However, this adult child has to pay for his entire educational expenses for tuition, books, supplies, and parking.
The Court of Appeal made this decision since this adult child had access to his investments funds to contribute a partial amount to his educational expenses plus he had an employment income of $10,000 per year. This adult child would still be left with more than $30,000 in investments even with paying for all his educational expenses.
The Court of Appeal held that the father did not have to pay the full amount of child support pursuant to the Child Support Guidelines for the adult child who was going to university in another city.
He only had to pay child support that was equal to one-third the difference between the standard child support amount for one child and two children. This reflected the fact that one adult child was only home for one-third of the year during the summer months.
Then the Court of Appeal decided that the parents had to pay for one-half of this adult child’s educational expenses in proportion to their expenses so that the father had to pay 77 per cent of one-half of his son’s educational expenses and the mother paid 23 per cent of these expenses. This adult child had to pay the other one-half of his educational expenses. This adult child would also have $22,000 in investments after his graduation.
The most important point is that a parent will in most cases not have to pay both the standard child support amount under the Child Support Guidelines and their proportionate share of the adult child’s educational expenses.
In this particular case, the Court of Appeal specifically rejected the mother’s argument that the father be required to pay the full child support amount pursuant to the Child Support Guidelines and pay his proportionate share of his adult children’s educational expenses.
In another case, the parents had an adult child who was attending a post-secondary institution. The father’s income was $150,000 per year and the mother earned $50,000 per year. The daughter would be attending post-secondary school in another city.
The court accepted the following expenses as reasonable when the daughter is living away from home: rent, utilities, food, clothing, phone, internet, transportation, some miscellaneous expenses, books for school, and tuition. These expenses amounted to $12,600 for the eight-month period that the daughter would live away from home to attend post-secondary school.
The court held that it was reasonable that the daughter contribute $5,000 of her summer employment income to her post-secondary school related expenses. The court stressed that post-secondary education was a full-time job itself so that an adult child cannot be expected to work on a part-time or full-time basis while they are attending college or university.
The court then explained that the mother and father had to pay the remaining $7600 for their daughter’s expenses on a proportional to income basis. The father had to pay 75 per cent of this amount or $715 per month for the eight months that his daughter attended school away from home. The mother had to pay 25 per cent of this amount or $238 per month for this eight-month period.
The father also had to pay $300 per month to the mother during the eight-month school year which helped the mother with her expenses of keeping a home for the child to come back to on weekends and holidays.
The father had to pay the standard Child Support Guideline amount of $1, 254 per month for the four months when the daughter was at home based on his annual income of $150,000.
If the daughter lived away from home during the summer months, the daughter’s living expenses of $1,170 would be apportioned between the parents with the father paying $878 per month and the mother paying $292 per month. The father would continue to pay the mother the sum of $300 per month.
Make sure you spend some time with your family lawyer discussing this important issue in your separation or divorce.
If you have any questions about your separation, divorce or family law case and you would like our help, there’s a few ways to contact our office. You can leave a message on my Facebook law office page, visit my website at www.canadiandivorcelegaladvice.com, or call me directly at 905-434-8837. We would be happy to speak to you.
Oh, by the way, did you know you can protect your family law rights and get essential information on settling your family law issues with your former spouse with the daily indispensable family law advice and tips at my FREE Facebook group?
Click here to find out more: Durham Region Separation and Divorce Legal Support Group