A judge might look unfavorably upon a live-in boyfriend or girlfriend who resides in the home outside of marriage; the court may see the live-in arrangement as a reflection of the parent's moral judgment.

In addition, the judge may also review the home study for information regarding overnight visits by opposite-sex guests.

An Arkansas court order for child custody or a divorce decree generally establishes the terms to be followed by both parents.

The court order or decree may include terms requested or agreed-upon by the parents, especially if they sign a "shared parenting agreement" together.

Census Bureau data has found places that are outside America’s largest cities seem to offer more for single moms to thrive: social stability, economic opportunity and affordable child care. Compare that with an average of $16,430 a year for full-time infant day care in Massachusetts and $21,948 in the District of Columbia.

It had among the lowest average child care costs of all communities surveyed, with parents paying just under $6,000 a year for full-time infant care, the most expensive kind of care.

The judge may also consider each parent's ability to provide for the children's moral needs.

Cohabitation with a partner outside of marriage, although socially acceptable to some, may affect a judge's view regarding a parent's home during a custody determination.In Arkansas, single moms and dads can apply for targeted scholarships to improve their education.Owensboro, the Daviess County seat, scored quite well for its low monthly housing costs and short commutes.Parents in West Des Moines enjoy an average commute time of just 16 minutes, among the lowest in our data set.In other cities we analyzed, workers regularly power through commutes of 45 minutes or longer.If parents have a custody dispute, they may need guidance through a court order.