W. Tyler Moore, PC

Texans may notice an uptick in single parents raising children

Divorce is not only more common place these days than it was 50 years ago, but the stigma is also changing. Many people in Texas are coming to the understanding that it is not necessary to spend the rest of one's life in an unhappy marriage, even if the couple has children. In fact, recent research indicates that divorce is having an impact on the number of single parents raising children in the United States.

According to the Pew Research Center, the percentage of children residing with a single parent has increased from 13 percent in 1968 to 32 percent in 2017. Sometimes a child only resides with one parent because his or her parents divorced. The Pew Research center also reports that the percentage of children residing with two married parents dropped significantly. In 1968, that number sat at 85 percent, but by 2017 had dropped to 65 percent. Moreover, keeping the current divorce rate in mind, research has shown that one-fifth of children born to married parents will experience a divorce before reaching age nine.

It is entirely possible for a single parent to raise a child in a healthy and happy manner. In fact, when it comes to married parents that are constantly fighting, getting a divorce may be more in the child's best interests. Children are very astute, and the rancor parents have with one another will not go unnoticed. Children may feel angry, sad or scared in such situations. In these situations, it may be better for parents to end their marriage.

However, parents should not let their animosity bleed over into their life post-divorce. Whether they like it or not, even though they are no longer married they still share a common goal: raising their child. This is true regardless if one or both parents has primary possession of the child. Parents should make sure to honor the child custody schedule set in their divorce decree. This involves a certain amount of cooperation so parents will need to at least remain cordial with each other. It is better for a child to have a stable, loving environment in which to grow, rather than one that is rife with conflict. Therefore, sometimes it is in everyone's best interests for parents to divorce, rather than stay in an unhappy marriage.

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