The role of divorce and single-parenting in creating poverty among children

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The role that divorce and single-parenting play in creating poverty among children is a hotly debated issue. While some say that the answer to child poverty is encouraging mothers and fathers to get married and stay married to each other, many people feel that is an unrealistic goal and not appropriate in many instances.


The task of deciding how to engage fathers with their families is primarily under the purview of the provinces. Most provinces offer classes, mediation, and information for fathers and mothers on how fathers can maintain contact and be a positive influence in the lives of their children even after a divorce. Most provinces also offer such things as mental health services for children of separated or divorced parents. Although unstated, the policy of most provinces seems to be to try to keep the father mentally and physically involved with children even if they are not married or in a relationship with the mother. Unfortunately, the services offered to fathers seem to be almost an after-thought. Especially given the uphill battle unmarried fathers face in the Divorce Act. The primary target of the various departments is the single mother. Like most social welfare programs, the target of these policies is poor families. The Divorce Act complicates the relationship of poor faterhs with their children because poor fathers are more likely not able to meet the demands of their divorce or child-support decrees. At the same time, while not having a father affects all children, the results are especially damaging when the mother is poor. Similarly, tax benefits and allowances at the national and local levels (e.g. ...
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