Unfortunately, we live in a world were economic times are tough. It can be a struggle for parents to adequately support children - especially if there is only one parent. According to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development about 15.9 percent of children world wide live in single-parent households. In the United states alone there are approximately 13.7 million single parents today, and those parents are responsible for raising 21.8 million children (approximately 26% of children under 21 in the U.S. today). The question we must ask is, What struggles and psychological effect does separation and divorce have on the parents as well as the children?
Divorce is the final termination of a marital union, canceling the legal duties and responsibilities of marriage and dissolving the bonds of matrimony between the parties. In most countries divorce requires the sanction of a court or other authority in a legal process. The legal process for divorce may also involve issues of spousal support, child custody, child support, distribution of property and division of debt. Shared custody is awarded in approximately twenty percent of all divorce child custody cases. When shared custody is not awarded, the court will award one parent sole custody of the child. A court may also award a parent joint custody. Joint custody is a court order whereby custody of a child is awarded to both parties. In joint custody both parents are "custodial parents" and neither parent is a non-custodial parent; or, in other words, the child has two custodial parents. Seventy percent of all child custody cases name the mother as the custodial parent. A “broken family” will effect the mother, father and child in different ways; with mothers usually sacrificing the most.
Approximately 84% of custodial parents are mothers. Fifty four percent of custodial mothers are raising one child from the absent parent and 46% have two or more children living with them. Single mothers deal with many obstacles when it comes to parenting and their personal life. Balancing work and children with little or no help can be extremely demanding for one person. How does one person work and pay the bills while spending quality time with their child? A single parent takes sole responsibility for a job that ideally takes two. Regardless of income from child support, more hours at work are often required to make ends meet. This presents a situation where you are not around as much at a time when the children need you the most. In a sense, you are working twice as hard for potentially poorer results. With the hectic schedule of a single mother how does she find time for her self? How does she find another mate that will accept the responsibilities of being a parent without being the biological father? Most importantly, how will her child react to a new romance? Now that we have discussed the single mother, let us discuss the challenges of the single father.
According to United...