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Single fathers more common in U.S.

A newly released study from the Pew Research Center shows that more American fathers are single dads than ever before. The child custody statistics reflect a growing trend throughout the legal and social landscape of Minnesota and the nation, according to experts in the field.

In 1960, there were fewer than a half-million households headed by single fathers. Now, after the 2011 study, we see that 2.6 million such households now exist. Of course, this pales in comparison to the 8.6 million single-mother households, which increased by a factor of four since the 1960 count.

Even though single mothers still vastly outnumber single fathers, the judicial system is continuing to work toward custody equality and fair judgments. Now, one-quarter of single-parent households are run by men, showing an important shift in fathers' rights and the perception of fatherhood by the courts. Still, there are important differences between the homes of single fathers and single mothers. For example, single fathers are more likely to be unmarried and living with a partner. In this way, many single-father households still provide the support of two parents. Also, single fathers are vastly different from married dads; single fathers tend to make less money and have less job security, among other factors.

Experts say the increase in single-father households is due to a variety of social and financial shifts in the past several decades. First, both the rate of divorces and the number of extramarital births have rapidly increased since the conservative days of the mid-20th century. Further, both men and women are seeking to find an appropriate balance between their work and home lives, leading to an increased focus on women's careers and men's roles in the house.

If you are a single father seeking assistance with an existing child custody agreement, consider seeking the services of a qualified family attorney. These professionals can help you learn more about your legal and financial options, allowing you to make the best decisions for yourself and your children.


Source: 
www.huffingtonpost.com, "Single fathers: Pew Research reports number of single dads has jumped in U.S." No author given, Jul. 02, 2013

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