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Single Moms Get Financial Boost from Equal Parenting Time, Survey Shows


A new survey highlights some of the financial benefits that single mothers get from parenting time arrangements in which the schedule is split 50/50 with a child’s other parent. The study also shows that those arrangements remain relatively rare.

Women with a 50/50 parenting time schedule are more than three times more likely (325%) to earn at least $100,000 per year than those who shoulder the entire parenting load, according to the survey conducted by Emma Johnson at Wealthy Single Mommy. They are also more likely (54%) to make at least $100,000 per year than those whose kids are with them most of the time.

“Women and men know caretaking responsibilities affect their economic opportunity in the labor market — and this data confirms that more equitable care and child-rearing responsibilities impact women’s labor market opportunities,” Kate Bahn, an economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, said in a report detailing the results.

But 50/50 parenting time remains rare across the country, according to the survey participants. Only about one in eight (13%) of those surveyed said they split parenting time equally with the other parent. Just more than half (51%) said they have their kids 100% of the time.

Johnson surveyed nearly 2,300 single mothers about employment, income and parenting time. She posed the results as insight into the persistent wage gap between men and women in the workforce.

“Gender pay equity cannot be achieved without equal parenting time between mothers and fathers,” Johnson says in a report detailing the survey results. “Changing expectations for parenting arrangements between single parents presents a unique opportunity to change gender culture and child-rearing practices for everyone.”

How Custody and Parenting Time Works in Michigan

Although an equal split may have financial benefits for single mothers, courts in Michigan focus on the child’s best interests when considering custody and visitation time among divorced parents. 

There are two types of child custody:

  • Physical custody: Where the child lives.
  • Legal custody: Who makes decisions about the child’s upbringing.

Custody may be sole — meaning that the child lives with one parent all of the time and/or one parent has all decision-making rights — or shared jointly. Joint legal custody is very common. It requires divorced parents to commit to working together, despite any differences they may have.

Child visitation, or “parenting time,” refers to the time that each parent spends with his or her children after a divorce. That includes setting a weekly or monthly schedule for visitation and deciding whether visits with one parent should be supervised. 

Let a Grand Rapids Family Lawyer Help

At Kraayeveld Law, we help people efficiently untangle their marriages and resolve a wide range of related issues, including child custody, visitation, and support, as well as alimony and asset division. A Grand Rapids family lawyer at our firm will take the time to understand your unique needs and craft a legal strategy tailored to your specific goals.

Call 616-285-0808 or contact us online to make an appointment to speak with a Grand Rapids family lawyer about your situation.