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Baltimore County Family Law Attorney Blog

Baltimore County Family Lawyer Discusses Single Parent Families.

Written by Amar Weisman » March 17, 2017 »

As recent as even a few decades ago, growing up in a single-parent household would have been considered unusual. For centuries, society upheld the notion that a two-parent household was the only way to raise a family. As a result, the majority of children found themselves being raised by a nuclear unit that consisted of both a mother and father.

However, as with most social norms, the past few decades have seen an erosion in what is considered a typical family unit. Single-parent households are no longer considered abnormal. In fact, now more than ever, it seems that single-parent families may just be the new norm.

Recent studies have shown this to be increasingly true. In general, this trend may stem from the fact that more children are being born outside of marriage than ever before—4 out of every 10, to be exact—a statement that would have been considered a scandal less than fifty years ago.

And single-parent homes are usually headed by women. In 2015, there were 12 million single-parent homes. 84% of those were headed by single mothers. Today, approximately 17.4 million children are growing up with their mother as the head of household. Of those, roughly half live below the poverty line.  

Unsurprisingly, a single woman in Dundalk makes much less than a married couple. But the earning gap may surprise you. Single mothers make an average of $26,000 a year, while married couples earn an average of $84,000 a year. That discrepancy makes a big difference, and is not something to be disregarded. Add to that the fact that women still make only 78 cents to every man’s dollar—a gap that widens depending on race—and it’s easy to see how the economic situation may be stacked against single moms.

You Are Not Alone

So what does all of this mean? In short, single-parent families are more common than they have ever been before. A combination of factors have created our current social situation, in which many children grow up with only one parent, usually a mother, in the household. Further aggravating this phenomenon is the wage gap between women and men, which is thrown into starker relief when you compare a single woman’s average salary to the salary of a married couple.

While these developments surely put strain on both the parent and children involved, they also offer an opportunity for our culture to redefine what it means to be a family. Now, more than ever before, children in Bel Air are expanding their ideas of what a family looks like, at an increasingly early age.

Especially if you’re considering getting a divorce, but worry about the emotional impact that may have on your children, these statistics may help to alleviate some of your concern about being the “only single mom” in your children’s play group, or the only single-parent household your children know. Financial factors aside, there’s no reason why your kids should feel excluded or ostracized in any way.

Making the choice to divorce in The Circuit Court for Baltimore County is never easy. The stress you may feel and the worry you may have for your family’s wellbeing are valid concerns and not issues to be taken lightly. Similarly, the attorney you choose to help see you through the process should be someone who understands your unique situation and can help create the best outcome for you and your children.

If you are seeking a Towson family lawyer and are ready to take the next step, we’re here for you. Do not hesitate to contact us.