Custody and Parenting Arrangements
Parents have certain responsibilities and obligations to the children for whom they provide care. Parents who are unmarried or divorced and who care for a child are said to have "custody" of a child. However, in more recent times, the term "custody" (which implies that children are merely possessions) has been quickly losing ground to the term "parenting time," which is less adversarial and a friendlier term.
In the Friend of the Court program, any party (custodial, non-custodial or third party) who applies for custody/parenting time will be given equal consideration based on guidelines for the best interests of the child.
It is in the child's best interest to have a meaningful relationship with both parents. Shared custody/parenting provides protection and well-being for most children. In families experiencing domestic violence issues, however, a judge may determine that shared custody/parenting is not in the best interests of the child.