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Child custody: Many children living with single parents

Many children become apprehensive when their parents announce a divorce. Even though many Kentucky kids likely have friends whose own parents are divorced, it can still feel worrisome to consider such a major change, especially if they fear that they will not see both of their parents often. Child custody arrangements and other factors do have many children living with unmarried and single parents.

A recent research study looked at the number of children living with unmarried parents. In 1968, the numbers were much lower than those in 2017. Reports stated that, in the latter year, 32 percent of kids lived with an unmarried parent, while that number was 13 percent in 1968. The majority of those children live with a single mother.

These numbers don't just include children living with only a mother or only a father. They also count those who live with parents who are cohabiting but not married. Among the reasons for the increase in these numbers is marriage decline, increase in out-of-wedlock births and increase in divorce.

While children may worry about how custody decisions will affect their families, Kentucky parents likely have these concerns as well. The hope may be that kids get to spend as much time with both parents as possible, but that type of arrangement does not suit everyone's needs. If parents are concerned about what terms could allow them to keep their children facing the best circumstances possible, they may wish to consult with knowledgeable attorneys in order to better understand how state laws may affect their cases and what child custody options may be available.

Source: pewresearch.org, "About one-third of U.S. children are living with an unmarried parent", Gretchen Livingston, April 27, 2018

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