Although a lot has changed about American families since 1968, one thing that seems to have remained relatively consistent is that, in single parent homes, it is usually the mother who serves as the head of the household. Fathers rarely do so even to this day.
There are about 24 million children who are living in a home where their caregiver, or caregivers, are not married. Of these children, about 15 million, over 60 percent, were living with their mothers. On the other hand, only 3 million or just over 12 percent, were living with their single fathers.
Additionally, according to the analysis that came up with these figures 5 million children were staying with a parent who was cohabiting, perhaps with the child’s other parent.
Single dads have apparently made some headway over time. In 1968, just 1 percent of all children lived with their unmarried fathers. As of 2017, this number was 4 percent. Interestingly, while the percentage of children living with their single mothers exploded from 12 percent to 22 percent between 1968 in 1997, since that time, to 2017, the percentage decreased to 21 percent.
For men, these statistics should serve as a mild warning that, despite having legal equality when it comes to allocating parental responsibilities, there may still be some practical barriers to their getting awarded primary responsibility for their children. If they want such responsibility, they should consider getting the advice and help of a family law attorney.
On the other hand, mother in Rockford, Illinois, are, statistically speaking, more likely to wind up taking care of their children following a divorce or other separation. They may need a family law attorney to help them protect their children and establish child support.