Among divorced couples with children, it may happen that the non-custodial parent is concerned that the money paid for child support is not being spent with the best interests of the child in mind. Or, there may be concern that the custodial parent is not raising the child in a generally acceptable manner. The court does not usually involve itself in what may be regarded as family arguments regarding the upbringing of a child. The court will become involved, however, if it can be shown that the custodial parent's conduct is contrary to the best interests of the child. The burden of proof in such matters rests with the non-custodial parent.
Divorcing parents soon learn that children custody rights are often divided into two categories: legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody is the right to make major decisions about the children while physical custody is the right to have the children live with you. Legal and physical custody are each divided into two more categories: sole and joint. Sole assigns the right to one parent exclusively while joint shares the right between parents. While there is no consensus regarding which arrangement is best, those who argue for joint legal and physical custody point out that the children are the ones who suffer the most when parents divorce. By equally sharing child-care responsibilities, joint custody reduces stresses that may harm children.
If minor children have lived in the home of a divorcing couple, serious consideration should be given to finding a method of division that allows the spouse who retains physical custody of the children to remain in the family home. This is regarded favorably by many judges and is generally considered to be in the best interest of the children. It also lessens the severe economic burdens that may be placed on the spouse with custody. It may be seen one-sided for one spouse to have custody of the children and to have possession of the family home. In reality, however, in nearly every divorce situation in which children are involved, it is the spouse without custody who fares better economically.
When my mom and dad divorced, I don't remember them ever discussing this with me, but they might have. All I remember is one day I saw a bunch of boxes around our house. My mom's stuff and my stuff wasn't in the house, I assumed it was in the boxes.