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Single-parent households have become fairly typical in the United States. However, a new study revealed that this is not such a typical occurrence in the rest of the world.

According to a new Pew Research Center study, the U.S. has a higher rate of children living in single-parent households than any of the other 130 countries and territories included in the study. Almost a quarter of children in the U.S. live with only one adult in the household, which is over three times as common in the U.S. as in the rest of the world.

An article about the study acknowledged that there has been a growing number of children in single-parent households for decades. It also noted that more adults are deciding to not get married, even if they decide to have children. The article suggested that a decline in marriage rates and rise in births outside of marriage may be contributing to the popularity of single-family households in the U.S.

What does this mean for Texans?

As trends in household composition changes, it may be especially important for parents to make sure they understand their legal rights in their family situation. Parenting rights may be a little more straightforward for married couples, but unmarried parents may also have rights or the option to obtain rights.

Parents in Texas who choose to remain unmarried may have different parenting time rights than parents who are married. This is because the law automatically recognizes a father and mother when a child is born to a married couple. The law assumes that the mother’s husband is the father of the child, so that man has parenting rights and responsibilities, just like the mother has.

However, this situation is different for unmarried parents. The child’s parents must take action to establish the father’s legal rights to his child because the law does not automatically recognize him as a legal parent. The unmarried mother is viewed as the child’s sole legal parent until paternity is proven.

Families come in all varieties, and parents do not need to be married to take good care of their children. However, it is important for all parents to understand their rights. Parents who don’t have parenting rights but who want to establish paternity may have options for doing so.