Question: My ex and I have been separated for 9 years but have never gotten divorced. My ex pays child support, but I have full legal and physical custody. My income is $40,000 and by the time our son starts college, I expect my ex to be retired, relying on a substantial pension and 401 (k). Will his income and assets be included on the FAFSA? Or only mine?

When it comes to money matters, “The Dean" is on thin ice. So I forwarded your question to my finaid guru (Ann C. Playe, former associate director of admission and financial aid at Smith College). I knew that Ann would have encountered other families in similar straits to yours. (In fact, I often insist that financial aid officers are a lot like doctors. That is, after a while, there's no condition they haven't seen. ;) )

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