160 Children’s Legal Rights Journal [Vol. 37: 1 2017]
causation; confusing a correlation for causation could potentially lead to detrimental results for
children whose custodial arrangements are determined solely based on these studies.215
a. Economic Hardship
When more carefully assessing children in joint custody arrangements and children in
sole custody arrangements, it is noticeable that the majority of children in sole custody
arrangements share strikingly similar household characteristics.216 Any of these individual
attributes or all of these attributes combined could be the underlying cause of the disparity
between the children in sole custody arrangements and the children in joint custody
For instance, single parent households are primarily comprised of single mothers; they
made up over 77% of single-parent households in 2013.218While most single parents had
graduated high school and 34% of single parents had some college education in 2013, only about
18% had at least a Bachelor’s degree.219 Single parents have more difficulty finding steady, full-time employment to meet their household needs.220 This statistic is consistent with general
findings that lower academic achievement correlates with more difficulty sustaining regular
employment or overall wealth through a person’s lifetime.221 For single mother families, the
215 See Post-Separation, supra note 63, at 42.
216 See Family Households, by Type, Age of Own Children, Age of Family Members, and Age, Race and Hispanic
Origin of Householder: F1, U.S. CENSUS BUREAU (2013), http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2013F.html.
217 Id.; see Post-Separation, supra note 63, at 42.
219 Family Households, By Type, Age of Own Children, and Educational Attainment of Householder: F2, U.S.
CENSUS BUREAU (2013), http://www.census.gov/hhes/families/data/cps2013F.html.
220 See Jason DeParle, Two Classes, Divided by “I Do,” N. Y. TIMES (July 14, 2012),
221 Earnings and Unemployment Rates by Educational Attainment, 2015, U.S. BUREAU OF LABOR STATISTICS
(March 15, 2016), http://www.bls.gov/emp/ep_chart_001.htm.