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BM lied on fafsa

FTBMom's picture

DH and I found out that BM filled out the FAFSA for SD17 with untruthful info. 

There was no communication with my DH, the custodial parent. (We had no idea she was filling it out.)  I also don’t think she included her husband’s info as required. (My SD was guided by her mother for her answers and told to say she had no stepparents.) I’ve chosen to disengage due to the alienation and constant disparaging BM has done with regards to me and the SKs often act like I don’t exist so I’ve began to disengage.  I’d have no problem ignoring this if it weren’t for one personal issue. They aren’t my lies nor my DHs. It will produce more aide for the student, which in turn benefits my DH since BM expects him to give money towards tuition and co-sign loans (she says she can’t cosign bc her credit is too poor - which could be true as it’s her long history).

Here is where I have a problem staying silent: she used my bio child’s name (DH and I are her parents) as a dependent. She has no attachment to my daughter, no communication, nothing; other than calling her a brat, etc and blaming my young child for her kids’ issues.

She violated a boundary by using her name as a dependent in her manipulation. To look at the form, she’s painting a false picture of a single parent (her) living at my address that includes my daughter. Knowing she falsely claimed my child as her dependent feels like she’s in my personal space and I don’t even communicate with her due to her long history of manipulation. (Smartest decision I’ve made.) I haven’t seen the entire form, but I’m assuming she put our address as hers since her address is nowhere near the school district where the student attends. She manipulated the form wherever she could (no surprise as she’s always been deceitful whenever it benefits her.)

It’s been submitted. Do we insist that she update it (SD could probably update it, but it would generate a notice anyway) to remove my child - which may in turn flag it for further scrutiny (possibly jeopardizing the aide the student could receive) or let it go and give warning if she ever pulls that stunt again, we will call and report her? (Also, we filled out SS20’s FAFSA truthfully his HS senior year and his mom filled it out thereafter bc he moved with her for his college freshman year. It’s possible my child’s name has been used before but I’m guessing not, since she didn’t even know my child’s correct given name until she asked one of the SKs recently.)  Both kids would already be getting more aide due to 2 in college and her income lower than my DH’s income, but she greedily tried to manipulate anything she could to increase it further. Using my child’s name was the proverbial stick. (Btw, she’s my only child & will never have the same benefit of a sibling in college at the same time. SKs willl be finished by the time she graduates from HS. Good news is she’s wicked smart with a strong work ethic so could obtain scholarships & receive financial aid honestly.) 

tog redux's picture

Oh hell yes, you should do something. Next thing you know she'll be opening up a credit card in your kid's name. Plus, it makes you a possible party to fraud.

Insist that she updates it.  And blow her in about the stepparent, too, that also makes you party to fraud. 

ESMOD's picture

My understanding is that the custodial parent fills out the FAFSA forms.  They much report HOUSEHOLD income.. so if she is married.. that needs to be reported.  I can't imagine she won't get caught with this when they cross reference her TAX returns which I believe they would look at for confirmation of her income etc.. 

Honestly, I don't think you or your DH would have any liability.. nor would it negatively impact your child to have been put on this form.  YES.. I get that this is incredibly ballsy and wrong... but I would let things take care of themselves.  If she is caught.. it will be her own hide.  You and your DH should state that as the non-custodial parent.. you don't have any idea what his EX wife may have put on her form..

I don't think it makes you or your DH party to a fraud unless you stipulated or somehow approved this submission.

My DH has never seen his daughters' FAFSA applications.. it is all between their mom and them.  Who knows what she puts down.

tog redux's picture

All BM and SD have to do is say, "Yes, DH and SM agreed that it was fine for me to put their daughter's name on there."

Plus, OP- if she's using YOUR address, how can she be using BM's income? I'm confused.


FTBMom's picture

We haven’t seen the form. DH had no idea it was being filled out by her. We only know what we do bc of some texts that went between BM and SD, but when I saw her asking what my child’s real full name was, my antenna went up immediately.  We also saw texts that when SD asked what to put for how many stepparents she had, the answer from BM was that she removed them. Beginning to think I don’t want to know too much bc then it assumes we were in agreement of some sort. I’m only assuming she is using our address because it would match up with the high school address. BM lives hours from the school district.   DH asked SD about it and she’s says the kids are all filling their section out in school together. I don’t know, something seems fishy. Why would she ask her mom questions and vice versa? I didn’t look if the time of texts was during school or not, but BM wouldn’t have access to my child’s SS#. Unless the FAFSA rep wasn’t honest/accurate with me a few years ago when we filled out for SS. They said the SS# aren’t visible. I called to check specifically bc I knew she’d be filling it out for the subsequent year and I didn’t want those numbers shared with her.

All I know is there seems to be some disconnect in all of this and I don’t know where and from whom the lies begin and end. Just another reason for disengagement— yet, that’s tough if she’s using my child’s name falsely. If she used my DH income (not sure how she’d access that unless she has his SS# to pull up the taxes), then including my child would be accurate because he, indeed, does financially support her. 

Sadly, the truth could be that DH is lying to me though he claims not. It wouldn’t be the first time he’s lied about financial info with regards to his ex to avoid conflict. (She’s extorted money from him through lies previously and he didn’t admit it till I discovered proof.) By and far though, BM is the manipulator and she knows she can easily snow him.  

Does anyone know if siblings SS#s are required, or is it just parents?  In all of this, I want to be certain my daughter is protected from any deceit. 

tog redux's picture

You can't prove you never gave her the okay. And if you know about it and do nothing, you are party to it. 

Harry's picture

You have to do something, or they will come after you and your DH to make up for the exter money give to his DD.   

notarelative's picture

DH is the custodial parent. It is his responsibility to fill out the FAFSA. If it were my DH, he'd fill it out correctly and submit it. Then let the chips fall where they may.

If DH stays silent, and they go by BM's do!ing and then they find out, it may not be pretty.

If you’re thinking of falsifying your FAFSA, just don’t. Under the Higher Education Act of 1965, penalties include a fine of up to $20,000 and/or up to five years in prison. Plus, you’d have to return any aid you had received


tog redux's picture

Yes - OP - have DH fill one out too. When they ask why there are two, he can let them know he is the custodial parent and he has no idea why BM filled one out too.  Easy. 

CLove's picture

Let them do them. Raise holy heck and get your DD completely out of that chit. It can and will bite everyone in the boodie.

STaround's picture

If he is custodial parent, why does he not do it.  Get password from kid, amend it

SteppedOut's picture


And I will add, I believe reported numbers are verified by the IRS (including dependants). Also, her mom may have to submit a tax transcript to the school. I have had to a couple years for my son (if the IRS tool is not used during submission).

strugglingSM's picture

To echo the comments above, the custodial parent is the only parent who submits the FAFSA and it is based on that parent's household income. If your DH is the custodial parent, then he should be filling out the FAFSA, not BM. 

Lying on the FAFSA is considered fraud and can be punishible with fines and potentially jail time. You should reach out to a neutral party to figure out what your DH needs to do to make sure that he's able to correct the information, as needed. 


Steppedonnomore's picture

Your DH should request the password from his daughter and log in to her FAFSA account, review the form and amend it if necessary.

fedupinwa's picture

It sounds to me like BM filed on behalf of you and DH. If she has his SSN she indeed can create an account and fill in the blanks as if she was him.  It is scary how someone can fill in those forms and there is no verification that it was actually you.  My DH was signed up for Parent Plus loans that he can't ever remember signing.  $90K later we have a big problem with his electronic signature on it.  I would recommend you get help from FAFSA ASAP to make sure you guys aren't on the hook for something you didn't agree to!!!  By the way, cosigning loans is a thing of the past, parent's now have to take out plus loans and they are in the parent's name only with an origination fee and nearly 8% interest being charged from day 1.  Don't do this to yourself! Please, please research the loans.

FTBMom's picture

I asked him if she had any of our SS#s. He didn’t think so, but they were married for ten years, so she could have it on old paperwork. I know after she left, he found out she had opened up credit accounts in his name he wasn’t aware of and she took his checking acct routing number and was using that till he closed all those accounts. I put nothing past her or her telling the kids “he owes it to them”, etc.  

A recent blowout (well, I was the only one flipping out) was when I found a text between DH and SS20 saying he “needed to sign that loan”. While we were engaged, he shared the lengths his ex went to put him in financial ruin. (She told him she was taking care of all bills as a sham while he was building his career. Wasn’t till she left that he found out about bills in collections, including his student loan that almost doubled. It took lots of work and many years but he dug himself out, including paying her student loan bc his dad co-signed it and he was constantly getting calls regarding nonpayment. Because if this, we were in complete agreement he would never cosign for his kids (they take advantage of him like their mom has and have similar spending habits). Every year I’ve verified w/him that there’d be no co-signing. Then I unearthed the co-signed loan. He tried to explain he thought his son had become more responsible and it was a very doable repayment for his intended career. Then I had to remind DH it wasn’t his only loan. I don’t know all he’s borrowed but he’d at least have the typical federal stafford loans which by now would total around 30k. The boy didn’t even have the decency to call or ask him in-person! The next time SS showed up, DH asked him how much in loans does he have and his answer was that he didn’t know. I’d bet that if BM hadn’t told him yet she will be teaching him the way she handled loans. Just don’t pay them and your dad will pick up the tab. 

If she has the ability to sign him up for a PPL which my husband knows is a huge NO, she might. ...but so far hasn’t had to bc it was easy enough to tell him to get dad to co-sign a private loan that she will instruct him not to pay bc his dad owes it to him. SS’s earning potential should be able to pay it, if he lives within his means, but that’s a big if. None of the Skids have shown great self control with money mgt.  

FTBMom's picture

Scanned a FAFSA form to see where my child’s name would be listed and if it required a SS#.

The SS#s required are that of parents and the student applying for the aid. Not sibs. 

For siblings/household size, she would’ve put a number of people only. This made me question why she was asking for my daughter’s given name. So I pulled up financial aid forms on the university’s site also mentioned in the text conversation. There’s where she had to list all siblings. It doesn’t specify CP or NCP but does say whoever provided 50% or more of  support for the 2019-20 school year (clearly that wouldn’t be BM). It asked for name and age. Same things she asked SD. Here’s the rub. It also asks for verification via a birth certificate. She’s shit out of luck with that even if she’s filling it out with DH’s info. Only I know where that document is and it’s staying that way. I don’t know how much the university cross references info listed on FAFSA but she will get called out when she can’t verify her birth or if numbers don’t match on forms. 

DH and I will be having a come to Jesus chat bc I need the truth on what conversation he’s had, if any, about any this. He’s gullible, but even he questions who at school would have time to sit down and fill out FASFA forms with students. Next question will be who looked over her form for her. Students are writing resumes and such, and possibly viewed a FAFSA form. The possible deceit though would be on the parent portion of the form, not the students. DH needs to get PW info from her and view it. Everyone involved in both homes knows DH is a pushover. Sadly, the kids have had it preached (brainswashed) for a decade that I’m the problem if they aren’t happy. Literally saw the message to SD last year when DH didn’t allow her to skip out on obligations to do something she wanted. (Which is rare for him, but he’s also firm on honoring obligations.): “Remenber, this isn’t your dad. He loves you. This is all [FTBMom]”. I had nothing to do with it other than support DHs stance. But usually I am the one to keep consistent rules and consequences which is just good parenting, not lack of love.  I’ve been vilified, disparaged, and called some mean names (between BM & Skids...not to my face since I don’t deal with her which has angered her). This will send her over the edge and there will be retaliation if it’s found I’m the one who rocked the boat. 

DH hates confrontation. It’s how SS was able to get him to co-sign the student loan last year. But hey, if BM wants to drive the bus on this one (she’s done everything to guiding sold to choice if major and college (always near her residence so that they will live there at least freshman year so then she claims them on taxes to get the $2500 education tax refund) every year if college. Between the two skids in college, she’ll have 20k at least given to her by the feds which will pay her back almost all the child support she’s paid since DH finally requested it 6 years after she left him (& in her usual fashion of manipulation, got him to agree to a reduced amount from what the state would’ve ordered).  She’s calculating and deceitful and determined to get her way. Except for getting custody of her kids (that she only sued us for after receiving the order for CS). She says it’s not about the money, but this is a case of actions speaking loud. I need to carefully make my move with the least amount of damage via retaliation. 1st stop, DH. 2nd, FAFSA if things don’t add up. 

Livingoutloud's picture

So BM claims that your kid is actually hers and lives with her? And you still wonder if you should call FAfsa?

i think there is more to the story. DH is likely lying. He might be in kahoots with BM about all this. Otherwise why isn’t he livid about all this?

also NO kids aren’t filling out fafsas together at school. Not happening.  

Rags's picture

It is looks like a dog, smells like a dog, and barks like a dog. Its a dog.

You nailed it.

If consequences are not applied, people like this will never stop their crap.