My soon-to-be-ex husband will not sign my son's FAFSA application electronically (meaning at all). My husband has not lived with us since April, 2010, and I do not have any tax info from his 2010 business year. My son completed his FAFSA using 2009 tax info since at this time the fed gov just needs an estimate, and final number can wait. The FAFSA is due 3/15/11. My question is, should I go ahead and sign the form electronically FOR my husband , or should I make changes to the FAFSA and resubmit it using my financial info for 2010? (I made $400 from working the month of December 2010 - before this I was a stay at home mom for 12 years.) We're not far enough into the divorce process to know exactly what my soon to be ex is responsible for. Thank you!
Do not sign that form for your husband. Instead, you should be filing an application right away for a court to compel your husband to produce his income information and to sign that form.
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Divorce / Separation Lawyer
It's not a clear answer, except for one aspect -- do NOT sign the form "for your husband" (electronically or otherwise).
First suggestion - call the FASFA folks and explain the situation; that you're separated and he won't provide his info or sign. See what they suggest.
Second suggestion - get it before a judge, seeking an order to compel you ex to cooperate with the process (even if that means his giving the info just to FASFA and not you, if he's claiming a privacy issue -- that shouldn't hold water in the long run as you're entitled to that info in the divorce process, but it would address the issue for now without endangering your child's receipt of financial aid). I'd also ask the judge to permit you to sign "as attorney in fact" (as if you were him), but don't do so without a judge's permission.
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
DO NOT SIGN FOR HIM ON THE FORM. Aside from the issues that could be raised with fraud or forgery, there could also be implications as to what your husband would be required to pay of any balance that is not covered by the FAFSA. Your husband could try to claim he was not consulted about college selections or financial aid as a way to try to avoid paying.
You should file an application with th ecourt immediately and ask the court to compel him to sign the form and to allow you to sign if he refuses. As for the financial information for 2010, ultimatley he is going to be required to produce this information in discovery or with his Case Information Statement so you should be able to update the information before any final deadlines for FAFSA.