Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Mom Resents Lack of Support for Sons' College Expenses

DEAR ABBY: When my two boys were young, I agreed to a reduction in child support payments with the understanding that my ex would help later with their college tuition. This was not put in writing.

Now both my boys are in college and their father is refusing to help. When I asked him to at least help with the costs of their books, he said, "That's what child support was for." I guess I should have seen this coming, as he has been cruel and unreasonable toward me for the past 22 years.

What's more hurtful is my sons have adopted their father's attitudes. They have told me their child support should have been saved for college. I always put my children first and feel that all the hours I have worked to pay for college means nothing to them. Have you any advice for me? -- UNAPPRECIATED IN WISCONSIN

DEAR UNAPPRECIATED: Yes. Your first mistake was not getting the agreement with your ex in writing. The second is in continuing to foot the entire bill for your sons' college education. It's time they applied for scholarships, student loans and part-time jobs. Close your checkbook and make an appointment with a lawyer, because your ex may not be off the hook regarding paying for the boys' education to the extent that he thinks he is.