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There are even some that argue that a single parent family is not even really a family.In American society, where living standard is very high, single moms and single dads are more likely to be poor, not only because they don't have help in the household, but also because they didn't have much money to begin with.Single parenting has become a norm in the United States and is a trend found in many other countries.The morality and advisability of single motherhood has long been debated in the US.Single parenting can also result from the breakup or divorce of coupled parents who leave and choose to not co-parent, thus leaving one parent to raise and support the child on their own.Many people confuse single parenting with co-parenting: co-parenting involves both parents playing a role of supporting and raising the child, rather than one parent—as is the case with single parenting.A single parent is a parent that parents alone without the other parent's support, meaning this particular parent is the only parent to the child, responsible for all financial, material, and emotional needs.

There is some debate among experts as to what the important component of the family structure is, particularly in the US, centering on whether or not a complete family or the love and affection of the children's parents is more important.

Divorce was generally rare historically (although this depends by culture and era), and divorce especially became very difficult to obtain after the fall of the Roman Empire, in Medieval Europe, due to strong involvement of ecclesiastical courts in family life (though annulment and other forms of separation were more common).

In the United States, since the 1960s, there has been a marked increase in the number of children living with a single parent.

Single parents in the UK are almost twice as likely to be in low-paid jobs as other workers (39% of working single parents compared with 21% of working people nationally).

This is highlighted in a report published by Gingerbread, funded by Trust for London and Barrow Cadbury Trust.

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