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California single parenting after divorce affects children

California divorce impacts children of a marriage the most. As parents squabble, children have no say and feel insecure about their future. This outcome is true everywhere in the country, including California. In the best interests of the child, the court gives child custody to one parent and orders child support to be paid by the other.

However, single parenting can affect children, not because the family structure has changed but because the family income has changed. Most single parents cannot afford the lifestyle that the dual family income provided. In fact, a parent's income has the biggest effect on whether the parent is able to provide extra-curricular activities, have time to read to the child or indulge in any positive parenting practices. According to a study, a single parent generally lags behind a married couple where enrichment activities are concerned. Child psychologists say that these activities impact a child's cognitive and emotional health. However, when the income divide is taken away, the difference disappears as well, no matter how many parents live in the home.

A single parent generally means a single family income. Hence, a child of a single parent is less likely to participate in sports activities. A child from a single-income family has 22.5 percent chance of participating in sports as compared to a double-income family. In fact, currently one-fourth of children below the age of six live below the poverty line.

According to the U.S. government standards, an annual income of $23,850 for a family of four sets the poverty line. The number of children living below the poverty line grows for single-income families. Nearly 41 percent of children growing up in a one-parent family are poor compared with 14 percent of children in other living situations.

Source: Yahoo News, "Single parent or poverty? Study looks at which affects good parenting most," Stephanie Hanes, Jan. 28, 2015

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