You love your children, and you have absolutely no problems paying for their needs — but you don't believe that your child needs an expensive stay at a special summer camp this year.
Your ex-spouse, however, thinks that a summer camp focused on coding, dance or music is exactly what your child needs to ensure their future success. Unfortunately, they also expect you to pay for it. What happens next?
Check your custody agreement and parenting plan
The first thing you need to do is determine whether you have legal or physical custody of your child (either wholly or shared), because those are two different things.
Physical custody refers to where the child lives and may be reflected in your shared parenting time. Legal custody, however, gives one or both parents the right to make major decisions about your child's future, including things like school and extracurricular activities.
Unless your ex has sole legal custody or you agreed to give them control over extracurricular activities in the summer, you can probably stop the whole thing right there.
Check your child support agreement
Your child support agreement may also hold some keys to relief. Unless you agreed to either fund or split the costs of any extracurricular activities, you can probably refuse to fund the trip.
The odds are high that one of these two solutions will work for you — but there's no guarantee that your ex-spouse won't haul you back into court over the issue. If possible, it may be worth your while to try to find a compromise solution, like a less-expensive program on the weekends.
If you run into a custody or support issue, don't try to handle it on your own. Working with an experienced attorney here in Albany can save you a lot of trouble.