Having a child custody plan may not be something you ever planned to do. You may have never thought you would divorce your spouse or breakup from your partner; you may have never expected to have a child with someone without being married. However, these events can happen to anyone, and when they do, a child custody plan becomes necessary.
Know that you are not alone if you are raising a child alone or if your child does not live with you. In fact, in the U.S., almost one-quarter of children under 18 live primarily with just one parent.
Single parenting increasing
The study, which comes from the Pew Research Center, says that about 23 percent of minor children live with one parent, which is three times higher than the rest of the world. According to researchers, this rate has been increasing in recent years because of lower marriage rates and higher frequencies of people having children outside of marriage.
The research also indicates that the U.S. sees a lower rate of children living in extended families than in other countries. And women between the ages of 35 and 59 are more likely to be living as single parents than men between the ages of 35 and 59.
What the numbers mean
These numbers suggest that parents in the U.S. are more likely to be the sole caretaker for a child; they are less likely to have help from relatives living with them.
These numbers reinforce what many single parents in Texas already know: they carry all or most of the responsibility in the daily lives and well-being of their child, physically, emotionally and financially. It also highlights the number of parents who must navigate the legal system at some point regarding child custody and support issues.
It is crucial to know, however, that every family and every situation is different. No matter what the statistics say, every parent deserves child custody and support plans that reflect their unique case and capabilities.