Can I borrow some money? Will you co-sign with me?

silverswordAugust 6, 2010

Help! My ________'s broken! Can you fix it for me?

Why is it these three sentences keep coming up?????? We got an email yesterday from SD's mom. She wants us to co-sign a loan with her (oh, she PROMISES she'll pay it back herself) for SD's school. Elementary school. Five figures a year.

Nevermind that she's defaulted and bankrupted (personally, at least once) and opened credit lines in DH's name without permission (Macy's? How'd I get a Macy's card? Oh..........) Um... does she think we have temporary memory loss?

The problem is that she pulls this every time right before SD comes out for a visit. Coincidence? I think not. Maybe she shouldn't have had more children if she can't afford to support the one she has in the way she wants. Maybe she should sell one of her luxury cars. Maybe tri-annual vacations aren't in the budget. Maybe her five bedroom 7-figure home is a little large for her and her two kids.


I just didn't want to hijack Love's post, and it seems like many of us have this same issue going on.

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I know that some people have amicable relationships with their ex, and so I'm sure there are people out there who would much rather have their ex call them because the toilet needs fixed rather than hire a plumber at $80/hour and have that money come away from something for their kids.

DH and BM do not have an amicable relationship, and I am flabbergasted at some of her demands (and they are not requests, they are demands). The recent demand that he fix something of hers was just amusing. The one that had me a nervous wreck was at Christmas, my MIL was hospitalized due to recurring health issues, and BM called and stated that she felt the need to go visit her ex-MIL because she was so worried (she had spoken to her all of once since the divorce), but she didn't know the way there (it's not only marked with street signs all over, it is of course available on mapquest, google maps, etc.). So she announced that she would just come to our house, Christmas Day, and wait here until she could follow DH to the hospital. We were having Christmas brunch with friends, family and neighbors and I was a mess. I kept expecting to look up and see her just walking into our home and plopping her behind down in our living room. For the first time, we had the front door locked and had guests ring; my mom was prepared to swoop SS away and distract him, and I had told DH that he was not to go near her if she did show up. I figured that I'd be more calm about it than he; I would have asked her to leave once and then called the police and ask to have her removed. Period. She didn't end up showing (nor did she ever go visit her XMIL, call, nor send her a card.) We really think that she just had nowhere to go and nothing to do and figured she'd come down here and eat.

As sad as it is to say, I really think the reason that BM had kids is because they were supposed to be her meal ticket. I think she assumed that even if they did end up divorced, that she'd get custody and child support. And then, of course, she could start playing "The heat is going to be shut off and I can't pay the bill. I need you to pay it or your kids will freeze" kind of games. It's so bizarre to me; it's not even like she seems to be thinking what the heck, I'll try and see if he'll go for it. She really seems to think that she is entitled to whatever it is she wants at the moment.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 1:19PM
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Oh yes. I don't know what it is with these types of people but it is certainly strange!

"The problem is that she pulls this every time right before SD comes out for a visit. Coincidence? I think not."

It's totally not a coincidence, Silver. But you knew that. ;) What did DH say about cosigning the loan?

BM has had some wacky requests over the years. My personal fave?

Before DH and I were married---but when we were living together--so this was about three years ago b/c she was preggo with her now-toddler daughter, she had the most insane request.

She got in a major fight with her then-boyfriend (now husband) and said they were over. Problem? She had nowhere to go. Solution? She seriously asked DH if she could move in with us "for a few weeks."

AUGHHHHH. She wanted to live in the [finished] basement, and promised us we wouldn't know she was even there!

UM yeah, how's that gonna work? What about the kitchen? What about the fact that SS would be 100% confused to have his mama living in his dad's basement?

It was just ludicrous and DH ignored her request but she kept harping, so he finally had to say NO.


    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 1:36PM
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"I figured that I'd be more calm about it than he; I would have asked her to leave once and then called the police and ask to have her removed. Period."

HAHA. This actually happened to us one time!

This was, again, back when BM was pregnant with her toddler. She is now 2.5 yrs old, so this was 3 yrs ago. Probably 3 years exactly because I do remember it was in the summer time.

DH and I were engaged and living together at the time; this was back in BM's wild drinking (yes while pregnant!) days.

We were at the pool with the kids and DH was arguing with BM. This woman would literally go insane--fifteen messages, with hurled insults, threats to take his son away so he'd never see him again, she was going to claw my eyes out, send friends over to beat DH up, etc. You get the picture. These rages were always over NOTHING---she'd just be in a bad mood and take it out on us by creating a "problem" to be mad about.

BM would get so infuriated that she'd even hurl insults about MY daughter---she was ugly, she was stupid, she wet the bed, her own DAD didn't want to see her so I had to glom on to SS's dad. It was terrible.

Funny that these blowups ALWAYS followed a night out of her drunken partying. It was a combination of guilt, hangover and hormonal issues, IMO.

Anyway, she was raging this particular time b/c a couple days earlier, DH had dropped SS of at her house around 11 AM, and SS was hungry. Somehow, BM construed this to mean he had not been properly fed at our house. She accused DH of starving him, of us not knowing how to take care of him b/c he was so hungry. was close to lunchtime...NORMAL for a child to be hungry!!! He hadn't eaten since breakfast at our house, so of course by 11 AM he was hungry!

Well, she just lit into DH like there was no tomorrow and the fight went on for days!

DH ended up turning his phone off after she threatened to come over to our house and "confront us" in person.

Neither of us really thought she'd do it.

So we spent another hour or so at the pool and headed home. As we pull down the street, SURE FRIGGIN' ENOUGH, there is BM's car parked out front with her sitting inside, preggo belly and all. DH and I drove right on by and DH called the police, explaining the situation. The officer said they would send someone over to ask her to leave. We went with the kids--not wanting SS to see anything--to get ice cream in the meantime, and a few mins later, DH gets a raging voicemail from BM.

"How dare you call the cops on me? I have a right to be at MY SON's HOUSE!" ETC.

They did make her leave, though. Shortly thereafter, DH got a phone call from the PD and they just wanted to let him know they had asked her to leave, and told DH to call them back if she returned.

She didn't. But I could not seriously believe that she had actually driven to our house---about 25 mins from hers---and sat parked out front for God knows who long waiting to "confront" us.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 2:32PM
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lovehadley, I cannot believe you turned down her request to stay in your basement. After all, she has a right to live in HER SON'S HOUSE!!! ;-) It's fascinating in a sick way to watch someone scream and yell and then two days later, when they want something, act like nothing happened.

Another one that annoys me about BM is the endless "sending crap home with SS" thing. BM changes pets (and men) like I change my socks. She'll get a puppy or a kitty because they're oh so cute, ignore and neglect them, suddenly realize that she has a grown dog who's not housebroken and bites or a semi-feral cat, and then dump them off on someone if they're lucky; if not, they're abandoned or, we suspect, taken out back and shot. It's really disgusting. At any rate, her latest cat is not spayed and, not surprisingly to anyone but her, keeps getting pregnant. So last year she kept all of the kittens for about eight months until they outgrew their cute stage, and then tried to convince SS8 to bring home one of her half-feral cats that urinated all over her home, had never been to the vet nor had their shots.

We told SS not a chance; getting a pet is a decision to be made as a family. So a few months ago we decided to get another cat to keep ours company; we all went down to the shelter where we chose a spayed, vaccinated, adult cat whose owner had to surrender her due to his moving to a nursing home. BM was furious when SS told her because, she said, we should have just taken one of her cats and the only reason we didn't was pure spite. Apparently it is our obligation to make up for her irresponsibility. (The cat is pregnant again as I write this, so there will be even more unwanted kittens in the world. Just contemptible.)

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 3:05PM
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UGH. I cannot stand when I hear about people mistreating or neglecting animals. :(

BM's DH has a bulldog, and the poor thing had this red cherry-like infection on his eye for MONTHS. I never saw him but DH said it was terrible looking. The reason? They couldn't afford to take him to the vet.

GRRRR. These are the same people who have since added two more children to their family.

Pets are a committment and it is so awful when people dump them or neglect them. Our male cat had a urinary tract infection last weekend and it involved a $175 vet visit, antibiotics and steroids to bring down the inflammation in his bladder. Poor guy. :(

But it comes with the territory.

If it were me...I'd consider reporting BM (anonymously) to animal control or something.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 3:26PM
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I have a bit different take on this i guess.

If I wouldn't have a place to stay and my x knew about it, he would offer me his basement or spare room for few weeks. especially when Dd was little. maybe not now when she is an adult. If we have children together, I raise a child or share custody and have no place to go, what's wrong with ex offering help?

As about asking to co-sign a loan for HIS child's education...If she was asking for money to buy herself new shoes, then it is unacceptable. But she is not even asking for money, just co-signing for HIS kid education. She is raising SD full time, I understand he hopefully pays CS but still it is not the same as actually raising a child. Who else was she supposed to ask for co-signing a loan related to HIS child?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 3:35PM
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nicely said fd.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 4:47PM
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finedreams, would your ex have invited you to stay in his basement if you were threatening to have your friends beat him and to take DD away so that he could never see her again?

As for the loan, "she is not even asking for money, just co-signing for HIS kid education". Would you think someone who does not pay the bills she has now is a good risk to co-sign for? Why would you even think that the money from the loan would ever even make it to SD's school tuition? What happens if (when) silver's SD's school never gets the tuition money and her DH is on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars, and BM's response is "Ooops! My bad"?

You are postulating appropriate behavior if the BM's in question acted the way that you would - but they don't.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 5:16PM
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If she wants SD to go to a 5 figure elementary school, then she, your DH and the lawyer(s) need to sit down and figure out who's responsible for how much.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 5:36PM
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of course under special circumstances (like violence)it is not appropriate to invite ex to stay in the house. If lovehadley's BM was violent at that time then it is inappropriate for her to even ask, I think I didn't notice that.

ceph, i am under impression that BM did not ask dad to pay for school (so courts really don't have to be involved) but asked him to co-sign. I totally understand not co-signing for loans, i wouldn't either. but i don't think it is entirely inappropriate to ask dad to co-sign, if he can't or won't then OK, but what's wrong with asking?

mattie I am not saying dad has to co-sign, it is too risky, but I don't see how it is wrong for mothers to ask fathers of their children for help in something. I think if moms raise children full time and dads only see them few times a year, it is rather strange to get this kind of attitude when mom is the one who does the work. If somebody raised my child full time, i'd be very grateful to them.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 6:35PM
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"If lovehadley's BM was violent at that time then it is inappropriate for her to even ask, I think I didn't notice that"

BM was worse drinking-wise then she had ever been. This is a woman who had shown up numerous times at our house---drunk--and pounding on the window and door.

FD, you are overlooking some huge points. A) It was MY home as well as DH's and SS's. I lived there---with my DD--and paid my fair share of bills, bought groceries, etc. It would be inappropriate, even under the BEST of circumstances for my DH to consider allowing his ex to stay in a house WE shared together. B.) BM was not going to be homeless, she could have always gone to her parents' house and C.) DH did offer to have SS stay as long as needed.

BM's request was completely inappropriate in that situation.

As far as silver and the loan, I think education or not, it is stupid to co-sign anything with anyone who doesn't have a good credit rating. There is no assurance this BM will pay the loan or even apply it to her DD's school, for that matter.

As far as asking--I think it just depends on situations. FD, I think you are looking at this from a reasonable, educated, rational perspective; that is how you and your ex-DH have been able to keep your relationship and that's good. But many of us on this forum deal with exes---coparents---who are simply NOT that way.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2010 at 8:55PM
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"former finedreams" it is just crazy how I am forgetting i changed my screen name, i feel stupid like I am posting under different names.

I hear your point lovehadley, I would not co-sign loans or let ex stay in my house. I think as a custodial mother (and you can relate) i sometimes see that noncustodial parents have this attitude: as long as I pay CS or let kids visit once in a blue moon i never have to help mom of my children or never have to contribute extras. And G_d forbid she asks for help! Just the whole attitude is somewhat disturbing, but I hear your point.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 10:39AM
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Oh, we can top it all. My husband's son wanted us to sign a surety bond or whatever for $300,000. Three young men were going to open their own business and needed the bond. The other two parents had already signed. My husband was ready to do it until I talked to a lawyer. If the boys defaulted and the other two couples didn't pay we would be responsible for all of it. My husband changed his mind in a hurry. during our marriage it was $1,000. here, $2,000. there. One time our son in law wanted $10,000. to buy a farm and he was allergic to animals. LOL It only ended when my step daughter tried to borrow money to file bankruptcy (2nd time) when he was into Alzheimer's. It told him that was it, no more. I went right to the bank put all our money in my name with him as beneficiary. The kid's bank was closed....Permanently.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 11:07AM
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"i sometimes see that noncustodial parents have this attitude: as long as I pay CS or let kids visit once in a blue moon i never have to help mom of my children or never have to contribute extras. And G_d forbid she asks for help! Just the whole attitude is somewhat disturbing, but I hear your point."

I hear yours, as well--FFD. (former FD. Can I call you that? LOL.) I don't disagree with you AT ALL under good, healthy circumstances. There is not anything wrong with asking for help with something. The situations WE are talking about on here, though, are with unstable, unreliable and sometimes downright wacky BMs. It makes a difference.

I totally agree that many divorced or split-up couples ARE able to co-parent reasonably well, and help one another out for the benefit of the kids. If it's a good, trusting situation with a relatively amicable relationship, there is nothing wrong with that at all.

It's just when there are nasty court battles, parental alienation, violence and unpredictable, crazy, irresponsible behavior that things aren't like that.

I am not entirely sure I think silver's BM's asking for a co-signer for school loan was "out of line." I mean, I definitely don't think he should do it---but I can "kinda" see why she asked.

BUT I definitely think making the choice to send a child to private school should be a JOINT parental decision. Given this BM's unreliable credit history and otherwise irresponsible behavior, it sounds like it would NOT be in Silver's DH's best interest to co-sign. Perhaps they could sit down together, discuss the merits of private school and determine who pays what. IF they even decide to do it at all.

I don't even want to get into the fact that this woman has also been really difficult in allowing her DD to have a relationship with her dad....right silver? From what we've heard, it sounds like the woman sees dad as a cash cow, and doesn't value--and even sabotages---the father/daughter relationship.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 12:24PM
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I don't think courts allow custodial parents deny NCPs access to their children. I don't understand how that happens. If NCP rather not have visitations schedule established and rather not deal with courts, then who is to blame. I'd make sure I have access to my child.

In any case I don't think asking father of your child to co-sign a loan for that same child's education is out of line or inappropriate. He does not have to sign, but what's wrong with asking? We have to agree to disagree.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2010 at 8:20PM
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LOL. We haven't said anything yet. We already contributed to last year. I disagree to five figure elementary education for many reasons, but she's not my kid... so.

IF (and this is a BIG IF)... she had not stuck DH with literally over six figures of debts AFTER he gave her the family home and car free and clear and she tanked both of those because she can't keep her wallet in her pocket there might be a different outcome.

IF a person can afford that kind of education, that's great. But DH spent 5 years before I even met him trying to pay off the horrible debts she incurred. We simply cannot afford that kind of debt. I personally don't feel that a person should go into debt if they can possibly avoid it. I think by the time SD gets out of school, at this rate, her "student loans" would be in the low six figures.

Did any of you, when you went to college... did any of your colleges care which high school you went to? Mine didn't. They wanted to know grades, civic duties, etc.

SD went to public school year before last because Mom couldn't afford. Because she had spent 1.5 million on her house. Anyhoo... mom says she wasn't stimulated at her public school and was so advanced, etc. But school didn't want to skip her a grade, so, IMHO, she wasn't THAT advanced. Whatever.

Kid is smart, I'll give her that. But this school is breeding ground for little spoiled brats. She actually asked for a $150 backpack last year.

I'd rather pay for college.

And I do think BM is out of line. I don't think anyone should take out a loan if they can't get approved themselves unless they are young, and it's your parents. She lives in a giant house, has two luxury cars. She's messed up her credit big time. I'm not willing to do that just so one of my kids can hob-knob with the jones'.

BTW, my ex-husband would let me stay at his house too. Difference is, I'd never ask him.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 1:21AM
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"I don't think anyone should take out a loan if they can't get approved themselves unless they are young, and it's your parents"

This is so true, Silver. If BM can't get approved for this loan herself, if her credit history is so shoddy, then you're right, she really has no business asking DH to go out on a limb for her.

And you would think if private school were that important to her, she could downsize her house, get rid of a car, etc---whatever--to make it happen.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 1:44AM
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Silvers like I said I don't think your DH should be co-signing loans for anyone, but I don't see how it is wrong to ask.

Silvers, you are shocking me! Of course many colleges care what school you attended, unless of course we are talking about some let's say not so good colleges. heck if DD wouldn't attend IB school she would not even get to her college. And some of her classmates, who attend Ivy League possibly would not have as much chance. Plenty of colleges give preference to particular schools and particular level of education. And colleges do know that A+ in some high school is at about the same level as B- at more advanced setting. Grading does not reflect what's truly going on. Colleges do know that.

It looks like mom has high hopes for SD, she might be overdoing it but she knows her child probably better than dad does. I personally moved into more expensive area so DD can get a particular education at a particular setting.

I wonder if SD is advanced it would be wise to look into some appropriate education that is either free or less expensive. If dad thinks that private ed is too expensive (and it is!) and SD is above and beyond, then he might want to help mom finding something more appropriate.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 1:54PM
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"stuck DH with literally over six figures of debts AFTER he gave her the family home and car free and clear and she tanked both of those because she can't keep her wallet in her pocket" That is why it is wrong for her to ask, in this particular case.

There are a few different possibilities going on here: 1) Mom is right, SD is so advanced and incredible that for some reason, only the horrifically expensive private school is appropriate. In this case, silver's DH should pay his fair share as he can afford, and BM should take him to court if necessary to ensure her daughter is getting an appropriate education. The fact that she claims to be prepared to pay for the entire amount herself makes me inclined to think it's more B) that for whatever reason BM has decided she wants her daughter in a particular school, but it's more of a luxury than a necessity. I'd also tend to think that may be the case because I realize that some cities are horribly expensive but in most of the US a 1.5 million dollar home lands you in a quite nice public school district. There's also option C which is that BM has no intention of the loan actually going towards school at all and is planning to use it for some other purpose entirely.

So, if option A seems to be out, that means the schooling is not really critical to SD's future success in life. And to me, the fact that BM would even ask someone she has already screwed over financially before to take a chance on her doing so again, for what is essentially a luxury, is, in itself, rude. If I borrowed my mother's car, drove carelessly and wrecked it, wouldn't it be rude of me to keep asking her to borrow her new one? It's unfair to put people in the position of having to say no to a request that they are denying mainly or solely due to your own negligence.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 4:48PM
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It's not the school you attend, but the rigor of the coursework you do at the school.

As someone who applied to college only a couple of years ago, I can truly say it's not the school but the classes you take. A 4.0 GPA in all on-level courses won't impress schools as much as 3.5 GPA with lots of AP courses.

That being said, some public high schools don't have a lot of AP or IB classes to offer, so that's when private school may be an option.

Also - let's not forget about the importance of the SAT and ACT tests. UGA (yes, number one party school, but also a highly rated public institution) only requires an SAT score, GPA, and transcript for those students applying early because all they look at is GPA, SAT score, AND rigor of coursework.

Also, I attended high school at a public school in a Southern state - we kind of have a bad reputation. But I got into both Southern, and reputable Northern schools.

As someone who had to turn down an acceptance to the best school in the country for what she wants to do because of parental mistakes with money, I can promise you Silver that you'll want to have that money to make your SD's college dreams come true and to save any possible educational debt for college. It hurts my mom every day to know that her blunders with money that happened when I was very little still leave their mark and that that poor judgement so long ago had consequences that affected me as well.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 8:14PM
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smashley, if classes are not offered, then one cannot take them no matter how hard they work. So it does matter what school you attend because selection of classes or opportunities is different. Many colleges require/prefer a specific selection of classes, if it was not offered to you at a high school level then you are out of luck. I know colleges that prefer 4 years of foreign language yet plenty of high schools only offer 2, so it does matter. One does not need to attend private school to be able to take AP classes or obtain IB diploma. One just needs to find good school or even move. DD attended IB school and got IB diploma and it was a public school but I moved so she can attend it. Of course many parents have different priorities and wouldn't care. Too bad.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 8:56AM
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mattie it is possible that mom is bad with finances, as many people aren't that great with money.

BM is actually raising a child (very different from visitations) and actually is trying something, maybe it is a wrong choice but she wants the best education for her kid, maybe she goes about it wrong way, maybe she is bad with money, but at least she is trying. Did dad do comprehensive research on education in his kid's area, did he visit schools in the area, did he explore options? or he just sits and criticizes BM's decisions and complains that she does not make it easy for him to be a dad.

maybe BM has too big of a house, maybe she shouldn't be driving fancy cars but her financial state has nothing to do with dad's involvement (or lack of it) in child's education. Will mom be the only one helping with college because dad just does not think SD is advanced enough or community college is good enough or mom goes on too many vacations and her house is too big? what is one to do with the other, how is it even his business?

Honestly I don't have much respect for NCPs who do little yet complain a lot.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 9:13AM
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PO1/FFD, that is why your posts are interesting; you have a completely different perspective than I do.

I agree that one or both parents should have done comprehensive research into educational options. The unanswered question is did Mom do it either? Did she originally sit down with Dad and say "These are the different options I've found; this school I feel is the best but is also the most expensive. This school is OK but more affordable. Or she can stay in public school and we could hire a tutor for advanced work. What are your thoughts on this?" Or did Mom just randomly pick a school that one of the neighbors said was a good one and decide that, come hell or high water, it was the only acceptable choice? I don't know the details of what transpired. I do get your point, though, that there is no reason Dad couldn't investigate alternatives.

Off topic, I'm glad that the IB school was so helpful to your DD. We have one here; and it's our hope that SS may eventually attend it. He is transferring to a (hopefully) better elementary school this year. We live in the city so there are different specialized and somewhat more advanced schools within the same district. One of our concerns is that as SS got older some of the kids were becoming more and more disruptive, and it seemed that more and more class time was being spent dealing with them than teaching. At the special schools if kids do not keep up academically or behaviorally or both, they are kicked out and sent back to the local elementary. We felt somewhat deranged planning, at age 8, how to best prepare SS for college - but at what point does one start? If he's not prepared for a decent high school he'll have a tough time getting into a decent college or getting any scholarships. I am the one who did the research (I'm better at research than DH) and we went over my findings; there are so many options and it is so hard to decide what would be best in the long run. The nice part is that, out of SS and his four best friends on our street, they will be attending five different schools - two parochial, one charter, two public, so it's not like he'll be feeling left out for going to a different school than the rest! And, of course, we always talk about when he goes to college, and when he gets his doctorate - under the theory that it's easier to lower expectations if need be rather than suddenly raise them.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 10:35AM
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mattie, not to hijack but if you do have better high school in the area make an effort to get him there.

I think that elementary and middle school might not be that important, but high school is, not only academically but in a social aspect. All of the school districts surrounding me are very good, yet DD didn't want to go to any of the high schools in the area (and they are good schools), huge like factories full of typical drama, football players and screaming girls LOL.

DD had none of the high school drama. It was all IB school, only academically inclined somewhat studios kids (DD is not that studious but it did her good to be with kids like that). Yes if you have anything below C, you must go back to your local school. All of her high school classmates were the type you can bring home safely and DD could spend time with any without me worrying. For me it was very important that she does not spend time with dangerous or bad kids. It was important for her too.

I am not putting down regular public high school, I am a teacher myself, but it is not a good option for everyone. We for example do not even offer AP classes, so our strongest students move on to something better and I don't blame them.

As about BM..From what i understand she is raising SD full time and dad is minimally involved plus he lives far away. I understand he cannot help with educational decisions under such circumstances, but I don't think he should be rolling his eyes at mom's effort. He or silvers think it is for spoiled brats, but maybe mom wants to isolate her child from bad influence. I take it BM knows her child a bit better and might see what's best.

"we don't want our kids in them fancy schools". I actually was asked by people why don't I just put DD into local school so I don't have to drive her to school. Priorities.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 12:41PM
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" Or did Mom just randomly pick a school that one of the neighbors said was a good one and decide that, come hell or high water, it was the only acceptable choice? "

I'm inclined to think this is what happened, given Silver's past descriptions of this particular BM and just how things have been over all.

I am not going to get into the private vs. public debate, or whether it matters what highschool one goes to.

This is what I will say, though. My DD goes to a private elementary school and the tuition is close to 16K. I realize that sounds ridiculous to some; for me, I am fortunate in that my father pays for it, and that is a great gift I feel he's given to her. NOW--I chose this particular school because I feel its emphasis is on education and learning. DUH, you might think but the real truth is, many private schools are less about that and are more about prestige and status. (We live in Saint Louis, a city rich in private school selections, much more so than most cities; apparently, STL is unusual in this aspect.)

There are schools here where people send their kids because they think it's what they're supposed to do, just like joining a country club or driving expensive cars. These are the same people getting their kids new BMWs for their 16th birthdays, and having nannies raise them when they're young. They don't send their kids to these schools because they value education, they send them because it "looks good."

THAT is the wrong reason IMO.

When DD was three, I started researching private schools and even NIXED the one I went to as a child because I felt it had become too pretentious. I disliked the feel there. I chose my DD's school because it's small, the teachers are top-notch, and I really liked the way the students, particularly the older ones acted. They were articulate, friendly, and confident--comfortable with adults and children alike. I love how the school abides by three principles: to encourage, to cherish and to prepare. Respect is HUGE at this school--of not only teachers, but of felllow students and friends.

Mostly, I really enjoy the other families. Sure, there are some families there with oodles of money. But there are an equal number of families sending kids there who clearly ARE making sacrifices to do so. Some of the parents of kids in DD's class are college professors, nurses, etc. They live in modest homes and drive modest cars. They are people who are CHOOSING to value education over big houses or cars or expensive vacations.

I have A LOT more respect for people of that mindset.

I have much less respect for people like the BM in silver's situation. Here is a woman who seemingly cannot afford the lifestyle she lives NOW, yet she wants to take out a loan for private school? If she truly wanted to do that for her DD's benefit, she would go about it differently. She could make some sacrifices---downsize her house or car---to make certain she will have the funds available. If she had gone to her ex-DH and said this is what I'M doing to make this happen, can you help out in THIS manner---that might be a different story.

I think DAD would have more respect and would take the idea more seriously if this were the case.

But it sounds---to me, at least---like this private school idea is not that much different from BM wanting a fancier car, or a designer dress, or a lavish vacation. It's a luxury she wants---not necessarily something she thinks her DD really needs.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 1:04PM
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love, we don't know true reason why BM chose that particular school. Somebody might say that your DD only goes to private school because your dad is wealthy and because you think your DD is better than others or that it breeds spoiled brats (I am in no support of such opinions).

Yes she certainly should not put children in expensive school if she cannot afford it, but your child attends expensive school and you cannot afford it. I am in support of your DD attending whatever school if grandpa can afford it, but BM wants to pay for it using loans. Stupid idea, but many parents take loans to help kids through college.

Yes maybe it appears ridiculous to take a loan for private elementary school but amounts like 16K for elementary child appears ridiculous to many as well! It is the same as DD's tuition for a school year of college, but she got college degree for that money, not just learning to read and write. Everybody is trying to do whatever they think is appropriate for their children. And people do ridiculous stuff for their kids.

If dad cannot afford to contribute and don't want to co-sign, fine, but I still think there is nothing wrong with asking. I also find somewhat strange that BM emails both dad and SM and asks both of them to co-sign. I would think she email dad and asked him. hey do have a child together.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 3:22PM
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I'm sorry to shock you. I have many friends who went to Ivy League schools on full scholarship and one who is currently attending an ILS on full scholarship (and none of them were sports based, all academic) and they went to public schools. Not top-notch public schools either. A family friend's son got into a prestigious college after going to the high school in our town. He just was awarded 10,000.00 of grant money on top of his other aid.

If you're smart, you're smart enough to get into ILS regardless of high school attended. When I went to college and got my first degree I was beat out for Valedictorian by a girl from the area I grew up in... she went to one of the worst ranked high schools in the area and I went to college-prep high school. She beat me, and all of the big-city kids.

That's what the SAT's are for. To wipe out all of the "an A in one school is of lower value than the B in another school" nonsense. It's the great equalizer. (except if you are of a minority and don't understand that it's racially/class biased)

@ Smashly: Exactly.

PO1: "What is one to do with the other, how is it even his business?"

Its his business because she A) was given all marital assets and B) racked up so much debt DH spent nearly 7 years paying it off and nearly ruined his credit (and, it looks like, ruined hers). ItÂs his business because by asking him to co-sign a loan; rather than discussing it with him and coming to a decision they both feel comfortable with; she commits to something she canÂt deliver and promises SD that she can go "if daddy says yes" so that Dad is a bad guy if he says no. If she were living within her means we might be more inclined to jump in the pool with her. But sheÂs already tried to drown him once. Once bitten, twice shy and all that.

"Honestly I don't have much respect for NCPs who do little yet complain a lot." Me neither. I hope you arenÂt assuming my DH does little and complains a lot. He pays child support that was based on his income years ago (nearly double what it would be if it were based on current income), has not gone back to court to get revision even though she does not abide by the visitation decree. We ask for her for every school vacation, to see her on weekends, etc. Mom always has things planned, camps planned, etc. Even if Mom canÂt be with her, she doesnÂt want us with her either.

As Mattie said; itÂs not ok to do "what you think is best for the child" and completely disregard what the other parent thinks or worse, not even ask their opinion before committing, and then expect the other parent to pay for your decision. Dad can help with educational decisions. He wasnÂt given a choice, and heÂs not "rolling his eyes". If one parent truly "knows the child better" and that makes it right for that parent to make all the decisions, why aren't stay at home parents given free reign over their children's lives? Why even consult with the parent who has to travel for work or works 80 hours a week?

Love, thatÂs exactly it. Many private schools are about prestige rather than education. I do think that is a lot of money for elementary school but if you have it or have the gift of someone footing the bill, by all means, take every advantage!! I paid over $8,000.00 for my ddÂs pre-school and kindergarten. We could afford it. It was the best one I could find. Right now I would put DD into private school if there were one nearby that I thought was worth it. I made the decision, (along with DDÂs birth father!) to not be in the car for 4 hours a day. But her school is two blocks away, I can walk to pick her up, everyone is so friendly and kind and interested in her success. We supplement her education in other ways.

IMO, itÂs not about public or private. ItÂs about what is the right fit for the child and for the family. And that can change year to year.
When BM is going on vacations with SD during the times in which we should be getting her (but IÂve booked us to Aruba over Christmas!!!) and then putting her in expensive camps over the summer (can you pay for half?) when weÂd LOVE to have herÂ..but now she canÂt visit because sheÂs booked up, and doesnÂt want to because "daddy, itÂs horse camp!!"Â well.

I don't care how smart the kid is, I'm not going to take out a second mortgage to pay for her 100,000.00 elementary education.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 5:37PM
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PO1, you are just running with that "breeds spoiled brats" comment aren't you. I don't think that's what private school does, I think this particular case, when SD is more concerned with keeping up with the other kids financially than with her education... then yes, it's turning her into an image conscious consumer. Any child, at 10, who thinks they need a multi-hundred dollar backpack is not getting the right kind of education. IMO.

SD is always bragging "at my school, we're doing XYZ" and "what kind of school do you go to, public or private?" to her cousins (who don't have any money at all but are THE sweetest kids whose parents do everything they can for them), and when the cousin says "public" SD gets all snooty "I go to __________ Academy".

THAT is the problem I have with her school. It gives her a sense of entitlement that has to do with $$$ and status (that she really doesn't have anyway, as mom is hanging on by a thread and we're solid middle class) rather than skills that will serve her better, IMO.

And, BTW, when she told her cousin what she was doing in school the cousin was doing EXACTLY the same thing (they are in the same grade) and even a little more. In a public school. And no, it's not the best school in the world. But the cousin is a respectful, fun kid who will probably never have a backpack that didn't come from Target nor would she dream of asking an adult "why don't you have a BMW? Don't you want one? My mom has two".

Love, doesn't your DD go to that school ONLY because your dad will pay for it? Typical that grandparents pay for education. I don't have any issue with that at all. If they have the money and want to spend it in that way, more power to them. If they were going into debt for it, I'd decline. I don't think an elementary education is worth going into debt. I don't think any amount is ridiculous if a person has the money for it. I may spend it different, but that's what's great, we can all spend our money as we see fit.

But I wouldn't dream of buying PO1's daughter a graduation gift and then expecting Love to go in halvsies with me without discussing it first. Common courtesy. Especially if the last time I put it on Love's store account and never paid my half.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2010 at 6:14PM
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