College tuition payment for our Difficult Child

Discussion in 'Parent Emeritus' started by pacific ocean, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. pacific ocean

    pacific ocean Member

    Update: the credit card of the Difficult Child has been canceled but just before this took place, the Difficult Child had already spent around $700 and the unpaid bill came here to the home address overseas. The Difficult Child emailed back and asked if we would take care of it. We won't. Also, our Difficult Child now is a man. The child publicly announced she was a man after all even thought she was a non gender confirming gender person a month ago. My mother received a letter of the announcement. He/she has a new name and said he feels better than ever and is proud of being a man. A typical Borderline (BPD)? It has hurt and confused many people who are close to us. Surprisingly, actually many of them congratulated her for this come out and we are the horrible parents who have no understanding regarding her long suffering of GID. Some stopped talking to us after her/he coming out.

    Well, this has nothing to do with the Difficult Child's gender confusion, however, with the cc abuse, my husband finally said we should not support Difficult Child's college tuition for next year and sent email. The Difficult Child sent him back a business report like letter back saying we can't do that legally because... We checked the FA section at the Uni's site and yes, she/he is our dependent when she/he applied so we are responsible for her tuition. According to his/her report on this issue, we would have to make a legal action in the US to change/prove the new status, her/him not being our dependent.

    Could anyone give us any advise on this?

    If we just don't pay, will we just get a bill after a bill with added interests?
    If we don't pay, will his/her term at the uni be terminated automatically?

    I'd appreciate any information/suggestion/wisdom.

    Thank you.

    Not enjoying holidays at all :angry-very:
  2. ForeverSpring

    ForeverSpring Well-Known Member

    Have you checked out these legalities with a lawyer? Before I paid a dime, I'd want to know the truth, not some manipulation from difficult adult child.
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  3. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    As for her coming out, that is just more drama. She may do this a few more times, probably at least somewhat publicly. Why? She seems to crave the drama and this is an area that just gets everyone involved and talking and many people seem to have the opinion that if you are not supportive no matter what then you are just a horrible person and you can be bashed. If she truly has a gender identity disorder, that is a shame but that is HER problem, it is NOT something you caused or made worse or should feel that you had a hand in. In my own opinion, given from limited information, your daughter is drawn to conflama. Conflict + drama = conflama (not my original word, but one that fits so many difficult children). It truly is what they want and need, and how they get it is FAR less important than actually getting it.

    As for the university, if someone doesn't pay the bills, she will not be able to attend classes. That is a basic truth at any university. But she is capable of paying her own way, of working and getting loans and grants to pay for her education. I grew up on university campuses and MANY students, including international students, pay their own tuition and expenses with little or no help from home. Sometimes because their family cannot help, sometimes because their family thinks they need to pay their own way to grow up and become an adult. Haven't you already paid for much of her studies? Contact an attorney, let the university know that all bills are not your problem as your daughter is an adult, and do what you need to in order to enjoy YOUR life. If other people have a problem with what you are doing with your daughter, then THEY have a problem. YOU do not.

    (((((hugs))))) Be good to yourself. Treat yourself to something just because - doesn't need to be something big, just something little that will make you feel good.
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  4. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Was the $700 a credit card bill from shopping at stores, or from charging tuition? These are different things.

    I thought your daughter was older for some reason, but just re-read your original post. Chances are the university can hold you responsible for whatever tuition she has accrued up to now. Your daughter would be a dependent and would get financial aid based upon her income AND your income for the rest of her degree unless she takes a year or two off and gets residency and establishes herself as an adult. In some states even that isn't enough - you must be a certain age to not be a dependent, or you must have no parents left alive and no living relatives who have been your guardians. Otherwise, your financial aid is given based on their income and your income. Even with this being the reality, hundreds of thousands of students, US and International, get degrees here each year.

    The University in my town has one of the highest percentage of international students per capita of any university in the US. I know a LOT of students from other countries, current and former, who have had to deal with financial aid issues. Many of them had zero help from home, not even a package of cookies now and then, because their families simply could not afford it. Most of these students not only paid for their own educations with hard work, frugal living, and student loans, they also sent money home regularly. So I am sorry if your daughter won't be able to live the high life in the city, she CAN still go to school IF SHE WANTS TO, even if you don't help. I guarantee that most of her classmates are seen as dependents by the school, and most don't have parents who are helping them. If she tells you differently, she is simply not telling the truth. Yes, you can find groups of wealthy students who have parents who pay for everything and then some, but these are NOT the generaly rule. They are the exception. The rest of the students get jobs and work to pay for what they want. Including their education, their food, and their shelter.

    Take it from someone who has seen universities up close and personal for 30 years - if she tells you otherwise, she is lying to you. I think she has problems, but as an adult you cannot force her to get help. YOu can only cut the funds so that the party stops and she doesn't ruin your life along with her own. Help is there if she wants it, and she is smart enough and resourceful enough to find it. Or to ask you to help her find it..
  5. Cheerwyn

    Cheerwyn New Member

    There's a difference between being legally obligated to pay for tuition for classes/semester your child has already attended, and being on the hook for any future tuition debts.

    As others have said above, there are plenty of students who would be considered dependents but whose families can't or wont pay for college.

    Otherwise, a student could enroll in college and force his/her parents to pay. To quote those ladies from the car insurance ad... "That isn't how that works. That isn't how any of that works."
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  6. Tanya M

    Tanya M Living with an attitude of gratitude Staff Member

    Process of elimination. I have found over the years of dealing with our son that those who choose to believe his "version of the truth" are not worth my time. It used to bother me, I was concerned about what these people thought. I had to ask myself "why". Why did what they think matter? These are people who did not take the time to really get to know me or to find out the truth about what was going on. I came to realize I was wasting precious energy on people who really didn't matter.
    Do not worry about what others think and to be quite honest, it's none of their business.

    So, I'm wondering about the name change. Was this a legal name change?? If it was, then I would wonder if the tuition papers under "her" name are valid anymore.
    Just a thought.
    I agree with the others that you might be best advised by contacting an attorney.

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  7. pacific ocean

    pacific ocean Member

    Thank you, Somewhere Out There, for reading my post.

    We don't have a lawyer or don't know anyone at this moment but if we have to, we will search the one that would be best for our situation. I am afraid it may cost more than the actual tuition. But we will not tolerate this time. First we will write to the Uni to explain our situation.
  8. pacific ocean

    pacific ocean Member

    Susistar, thank you for your comment.

    We don't believe she got a diagnose of GID by the doctor. In our country, to make a diagnosed, one needs to be checked by at least two doctors who took time to observe including interviewing family members about his/her childhood, etc. We don't know who she's been seen but she told my husband "a care provider."

    I have heard of this word, "conflama." Learned something new, thank you!

    Our society here is not a suing society. Even for a divorce, people try to compromise by talking and try to have a peaceful settlement. Your advice here about contacting an attorney sounds like a big hurdle for us. Maybe it is not as difficult as we think. Do think I can search one in the internet? I will check how to find one that would be willing to work with us.

    We are talking about her 4th year at college. She has been TA and having some other work study positions to cover her "loan" part of the tuition. It is one of the most costly university in the US so we pay quite a bit. We think she could loan that amount. But the university might not let her do so.

    We believe what we are doing for our Difficult Child is best, at least for now.
  9. pacific ocean

    pacific ocean Member


    We have not idea. The Difficult Child has not told us for this one and as well as others in the past. It could be the cost for the ER charges from the summer and in the fall term. She said she went there twice already when she was still open with me in early Oct. It could also be for food and/or various entertainment.

    The Difficult Child, who seems to be very threatened by father's email, addressed to me the email to him. This is what she wrote in the latest email:

    " I really want you to understand that it is literally not legally possible for you to not support my education.

    (the University's website address inserted)

    This is an infographic showing all of the ways that I may be considered an independent student. Unfortunately, I do not fit any of these categories. The closest one that I may be able to achieve is being emancipated, but I really don't want to do that because I really hope that we'll be able to connect better in the future, and that we will be able to share important days in both of our lives together."

    The rest of the email is like a love letter, how important we have been to her, I loved you and I love you...

    She could have gone to the uni with a great package since she has an excellent academic record as well as social activities. But she wanted a brand name. We weren't sure if we could really afford it until we saw the package from the school. It was not surprising so we let her attend this current one in New England. She told me the school is full of rich kids whose parents pay the entire tuition. She was complaining how she had to work on campus because we are poor. Well, let her learn and be really independent since she claims her full independent status from us by not contacting us at all nor listening to any of our advice on her treatment/recovery.

    I read somewhere you have to be 24 to be eligible for the state aid. She is turning 21 next summer.
    We will write to the University to explain in our situation, see what they say and go from there.

    When she left home for this man she met in the internet just before she was onto college (she left home because she hated being with us), we could have made a decision not to send her the school overseas. We are a loss what to do for her right now, however, have all the regrets to have come this far... but had it really changed our situation, no one knows.

    Thank you for thinking with me. We will spend many hours writing email to different places. How fun, huh? How sad...
  10. pacific ocean

    pacific ocean Member

    Cheerywyn, thank you for your comment. Things work differently in the US so we have a lot to search and learn new ways and strategies before we do anything. I will update again on us when the things get settled, if it gets settled...
  11. pacific ocean

    pacific ocean Member

    Tanya M, thank you for your kind words of encouragement. It still hurts, thought, the truth wins in the end and we all know that. We just have to be patient. In the mean time, just enjoy and share our love with people who believe in us.

    Well, the Difficult Child changed its name about a month ago so it has not long enough to go through the legal process yet. Maybe he/she is working on it. Scary to come this far. It changes everything. Here you have to go to the court for the name change. I think it is the same for the US... Not?

    We wondered about the new name and the tuition payment to. This could be a reason not to be responsible.
    A while ago, my husband got email from the Difficult Child asking for a birth certificate. So maybe it's in the process.
    The tuition won't be due for another 1/2 a year so we will see.

    An attorney... we need one, it looks like. We don't know how to find one but we will search.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    The school can consider her a dependent for state aid if they want, and give her aid or not. Mostly that aid is given to US residents though, so if you are not US citizens then she would not be eligible. She would need scholarships or loans to pay the tuition amount. Parents are expected to pay a certain amount BUT that is on paper and is NOT a legal obligation to the best of my information. I know MANY students here who have parents who are paying NOTHING toward their tuition. The state calculates aid based on parents giving a certain amount of aid, but if the parent doesn't pay that amount, the state can do NOTHING to enforce it. I know my state cannot enforce it, not for students who are US residents and not for students who are not US residents. If the parents will not pay, the student is the one who is held accountable and who is either kicked out of school or who is not able to receive a transcript or diploma until they pay off the tuition. If they have to, they can take out student loans, and they can offer to pay for them when they graduate. If they refuse to pay for the student loans when they graduate, then they are sued for that amount.

    As for the credit card, what name is on the card? If the card is in your name or your husband's name, you can see what the charges are for, at least the names of the businesses. If the card is in yoru daughter's name, then you have ZERO obligation to pay for that card. Not unless you signed that you would pay for it with the bank that issued it. If you agreed to have payments come out of your account automatically, you can stop that by contacting your bank. You may also have to contact the credit card co, but you should be able to get the card info from your bank statement.

    As for your daughter's little infographic, that is likely just marketing stuff the university issues to try to explain what they expect, not what your legal obligation is. I could be wrong, I am NOT an attorney and I don't know what agreements were signed, which could make a difference. But I would contact the university and tell them that you are NOT responsible for your daughter's finances or her education and she has disavowed you, and you are abiding by her wished by allowing her to have the independence that she wishes. Hence you are NOT paying for ANY of her expenses and they should contact her for any and all financial matters. Then return any and all mailings to the university.

    Tell your daughter that you love her, and that you respect her independence and you are sure that she can handle her life and finances on her own just as she wishes. You will always love her, but love doesn't come with a price tag. She won't be happy, not at all, but she CHOSE this with her behavior toward you.
  13. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I am not an attorney, and of course we are in different countries. That said, I agree with Susiestar and everybody else.

    I really do not much like her/his attitude. She/he seems to feel entitled. And I do not like at all the way she/he seems to have set you up for scorn from other people.

    I agree with husband. I would understand your being on the hook for past tuition bills, but for future I would send certified, dated letters to the registrar's office and to the academic dean of students for whatever division she/he is in, that say something like the following (of course I cannot give legal advice, and this is not meant to be such. You would probably be best advised to consult an attorney or to call the college):

    We have decided to discontinue immediately as of ___ (Spring Semester 2017 until further notice) the studies for our child whose legal name is __,but currently using the name __. We will no longer be responsible for any future bills for tuition or any other costs that she/he incurs.

    This type of announcement is routine in divorces where one spouse no longer wants to be responsible for the debts of the other. You can google this and get a format to use. Here people will place this announcement in the newspaper, and from that day forward they cannot be held responsible, I believe.

    I do not know what is the situation for a minor, and I do not know the law either here where I live or in your country.

    Your child is acting like a completely emancipated adult, who chooses to make full decisions for her/himself, yet make you responsible.

    This is unfair. To me, it is. I would hope I would do the same thing. Especially with the attitude he/she is displaying. But I know it is hard.
  14. pacific ocean

    pacific ocean Member


    Thank you once again for your reply.

    The Difficult Child was born in the US so she/he is considered to be the US citizen but she has not residency in any state. The University he/she attends has a non loan policy so they give a pretty good package to the students no matter what you are from. She/he has been receiving scholarships from the Uni plus some working requirements on campus. My husband has been helping her with the financing so I really don't know what's going on. But when he checked the site, it looked like we could not get away once we said yes we would be responsible for the child's tuition, however, they mention there are exception cases if the uni approves.

    The card is under her name. Because it's paperless and she changed the pass word to access to her account (she used to let me share so that I could warn her or transfer funds from one account to another), we didn't know what the charges were for.

    We used to let her hold our family card in case of emergency but we took that away and switched it to the student status card so that she would "learn" to use it wisely. It turned out to be good. It's issued through a bank here using her home address here. When we received the unpaid bill, I called the cc company and they said we were not responsible. So we are letting her work on it like transferring funds from a bank in the US to the bank here. We know the card was invalid for a while and now it's terminated.

    She/he could write a book why we must pay the tuition. Now she is ccing her email to my husband and I already received two email about how well she's been doing. My husband asked her about her therapy/treatment on her mental issues. The she wrote her mental condition got really bad when we told her not to come home for holidays so she went to see a new provider. This doctor told her she has major depression and has been put on some medications (doesn't tell us the name of medications). We assume she is on anti depressant. That is wrong. This explains her strange behaviors in the past couple of months.

    I cry every day feeling miserable not being able to reach out. But I switch mode to concentrate on our daily lives. It's quiet and a bit lonely but we have been having a very peaceful time for the end year/new year break. We will always love her yes you are right she thinks love =money sadly.
  15. pacific ocean

    pacific ocean Member


    Thank you for your comment and a good advice on how we should approach to the university office and the dean. I had a chance to see the dean of her class when I flew in when she had her first suicidal attempt last March. She recommended to take some time off, maybe a year, and pursuit treatments. We convinced her but failed. The dean called her and talked but she didn't listen to her, well, she talked into her with her tricks so that she won't be able to suggest that anymore.

    We will tell her what we can explain to her/his school that in her/his mental state, including information we have from the doctors here and from past incidents, it is not beneficial to continue her education at this time, and politely ask that she/he be disenrolled.

    We hate doing this but we must.
  16. Copabanana

    Copabanana Well-Known Member

    I would be sure to out it in writing and to keep copies of letters, and the certified mailings. That is what we have here. Certified letters. Where the recipient signs for receipt and the receipt is sent back to the person who mailed the letter.
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would send these letters certified, return receipt requested. This means someone will sign for them and you get a copy of that. You can verify that the office got the letter and knows that you want her disenrolled because she is unstable and not fit. I would include that in her mental state, esp given her suicide attempts, she could be a danger to others. If she is bipolar and on antidepressants, she is likely manic and could do any number of things, and likely could be dangerous. This is sad, but sadly true. She could be dangerous to herself or to others, and the university, once notified this way, will have to either unenroll her or else assume the liability for having her on the campus. They will NOT want this. This will end your financial responsibility for her tuition, which is important. It will also show that she needs help, that it isn't just your opinion, but that of her doctors and of the university - a much larger and more respected institution than just dear old mom and dad.
  18. pacific ocean

    pacific ocean Member


    Thank you for letting us know about the certified mail. We were simply thinking of sending email to the University but yes, we need to take the steps carefully. We need to search if there is such a thing for the international mail from here.
    If not, maybe I can arrange to have someone in the US send the letter as a certified mail.
  19. pacific ocean

    pacific ocean Member


    Ok, we learned about certified letters. Thank you.

    We will definitely include her mental state in the letter. You mention about the danger effect of antidepressant for bipolar. The doctor we took our Difficult Child last May told us the dangerous risk of taking antidepressants for bipolar patients especially when the patient is young. She was very manic at that time so we warned her to tell the therapist/doctor at the uni to change the medications. We even write to the university health service addressed her/his therapist but they ignored our email and never heard from them.

    She wrote in our last correspondences that her condition got really bad when we told her not to come home for Christmas. The she started seeing this new care provider ( I guess she means the doctor outside the campus) and got a diagnose of major depressive disorder. We are not familiar with the term so we looked up. She said her symptoms fitted to this disorder and has been given different medication including antidepressant. This is scary and we are scared.
  20. pacific ocean

    pacific ocean Member


    We thank you for this warm place.

    Wishing you a blessed new year with good health and lots of smiles in 2017!

    Pacific Ocean