If you are not an unmarried parent yourself, odds are very good that you know someone who is. A lot of children live with one or more unmarried parents. In some cases, this is because the children were born outside of a serious relationship; in others, it just means that the parents live together and are in a committed relationship, but they have not decided to get officially married.
Regardless of the reason — and those are just two examples — what is clear is that it’s very common. About one out of every three kids in the United States is in this position — or a third of the entire minor population. That data comes from the highly-respected Pew Research Center.
Not only did researchers examine what the numbers look like today, but they also compared them to the past to see the trends. What they found was that only 13% of children lived with at least one unmarried parent back in 1968. By 2017, that had jumped all the way to 32%. While that time does span decades, it is still a dramatic increase and it shows that this is something more and more people in America — children and parents — are going to be thinking about.
If you are an unmarried parent for any reason, you know that the situation can come with some challenges. Make sure that you are well aware of your legal rights and the options that you have regarding visitation and support. You need to know how to put your child first every step of the way.