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Divorce and Child Custody

  • By: Lawrence H. Ganong & Tyler B. Jamison
  • In: Encyclopedia of Family Health
  • Edited by: Martha Craft-Rosenberg & Shelley-Rae Pehler
  • Subject:Family Health, Family Policy, Family Law

Although the rates of divorce have remained steady in the United States for nearly 2 decades, divorce remains a relatively frequent phenomenon for American couples. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2004, nearly 21% of all men and 26% of all women between 35 and 39 years old had been divorced. More than one third of Americans ages 40 to 69 years had been divorced at least once. Not all divorced adults are parents, but many are; in 2007, 25.8% of American children younger than 18 lived with one parent, and 6% lived with a parent and a stepparent. An estimated 16.8% of divorced men and 56.9% of divorced women live with their own minor children. The subsequent arrangements that families make for legal ...

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