It seems that among children who are living with either one or the other of their biological parents, most still live their mothers. Since the late 1960s, the number of children who are living with parents who are married to each other, including stepparents, has declined considerably, from 85 percent down to 65 percent.
In terms of raw numbers, according to a recent analysis, 24 million children live with a unmarried parent. Of these, over half, about 15 million, live with their mothers, while about 3 million live alone with their fathers. Additionally, 5 million children are living with two parents who are living together but who are not married to each other.
Percentage-wise, the number of children who are living alone with their fathers increased to 4 percent from 3 percent in 1997, around the time when, culturally, the idea of fathers’ rights became more of an issue. In 1968, only 1 percent of all children lived alone with their unmarried fathers.
In contrast, the number of children living alone with their mothers has increased from 12 percent in 1968 to 21 percent in 2017, after hitting a high water mark of 22 percent in 1997.
While there may be many reasons for the relatively modest increase in the number of children living alone with their dads, this study still serves as an occasion to remind Phoenix, Arizona, fathers that they may face an uphill battle should they want liberal parenting time or especially custody, of their children.
Legally, moms and dads are on the same footing. Practically speaking, though, fathers who want a relationship with their children should strongly consider getting the help of an experienced child custody attorney.