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Single-father households on the rise

Newly released information from a trusted polling institute shows an increase in the number of single fathers in recent years. In fact, the number of fathers who are entrusted with primary child custody has risen ninefold since the Pew Research Center started keeping track in the 1950s.

In 1960, there were fewer than 300,000 single-father households after a divorce. Now, the number has swelled to some 2.6 million, showing a faster increase than even the rate of growth for single-mother households. There are currently about 8.6 million households led by single mothers in the United States. Even though single-mother households vastly outnumber those led by single fathers, the number of male-headed households is growing quickly. About 25 percent of sole-custody parents are fathers. Add to that the fact that more families are being led by a single parent due to an increased rate of divorce, and fathers suddenly play a more significant role in the American social fabric.

There are several advantages held by male-led single-parent households. For example, more single men are likely to live with a partner than single women; that means that more single-father households have two "parents" as compared to those led by single mothers. Still, single fathers are far less likely to be financially flush when compared to their married counterparts. Married fathers are also generally older.

Many experts say that men are experiencing a cultural revolution similar to the feminist movement of the late 20th century. More men are seeking a more reasonable family/work balance; part of that includes the right to be a single parent. As our nation continues to experience high rates of divorce, the number of single-father households is sure to rise. Both parents' rights deserve consideration during the child custody decision-making process.

If you are a single father struggling to obtain the parental rights you deserve, consider seeking the assistance of a qualified family attorney. These professionals can help you through your custody negotiations, also providing you with additional information about being a single parent.

Source:, "Single fathers: Pew research reports number of single dads has jumped in U.S." Lisa Belkin, Jul. 02, 2013

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