From now on, start keeping a phone log of phone conversations with your ex concerning these programs. In every case possible, communicate with him via email or certified mail instead. That way you have your written words and his written responses, not “he-said, she-said” of a phone conversation. Then even if you don’t have a lawyer, you’ll have a solid timeline of events and conversations to present on your own behalf if he tries to take you to court.
Get his BS about summer camp during your visitation IN WRITING. Tell him to email you his stance, so you can “think it over” and tell him there’s too much emotion involved when you guys talk over the phone or face-to-face, and you don’t want your personal issues as ex-lovers to get in the way of your duties as parents. Actually, say that to him and then follow it up with an email or certified letter re-stating it. The paper-trail will be your savior in court.
He can NOT tell you what to do with the child during YOUR visitation. If he wants to take two weeks out for a summer camp, he will have to do it during his time with the child, period. It’s your visitation, and it’s your decision what you do during that time.
Also, MAKE A CALENDAR. Get one of those big desk calendars and mark down all the activities your child is involved in. Times of practices, times of games/field events, etc. Keep very close track of it for the next 2-3 months. That way, you can show the judge just how much of the child’s life is being taken up by the organized activities. Break it down like this: If my child spends X hours a day in school, X hours/week at practice, and X hours/week at events or tournaments, that only leaves Y hours a week for me and ex-husband to spend with him.
Your honor, I support the events my child is already involved in, but for our own relationship with the child as parents, I request no more activities so we can both ensure the quality time needed for the child’s welfare, especially during this difficult transition period of our divorce. As you can see, the child spends X hours a week in the extracurricular activities, which means Y days per month are taken up with this time. If my husband and I have 50/50 time, that means both of us are missing X worth of time a month due to these activities, and that doesn’t include the average Y time spent driving to and from the events, and the average Z nights/month missing the chance to eat dinner as a family. For the sake of preserving our relationship and allowing our child to experience simple family time, I’d like to request a cap of ___ activities for the child to be involved in at any given time.
And back to the summer camp… Just say NO. He can take you to court all day long, but it comes down to the fact that it’s YOUR time with your child. And tie in the above calendar that you MUST create.
Your honor, this proposed two-week summer camp will take away the very important time I wanted to spend with our child to make up for the XX total days I have missed from him due to the accumulation of hours each week spent in extracurricular activities.
Remember, you must always make it about your child. That’s why the emails & letters are important, too. You can take the emotion out of the subject when you’re typing, and it gives you time to edit your thoughts and demonstrate that you’re in this for the best interest of your kid, not the best interest of your wallet. And hopefully the Dad will make a fool of himself by responding reactively and selfishly and getting personal with you.