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Co-mom households have benefits. Are they better?

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates there are nearly 11 million single parents in the United States right now. What the number may be in Louisiana and how they may be broken down in terms of gender is a bit more of a guess. Data is hard to come by easily. But if Louisiana is in line with the country as a whole, most of those households are headed up by mothers.

How young moms and dads come to be in the situation of being a single parent can vary. Sometimes the parents are unmarried, having never lived together. Divorce can play a role as well, as any experienced Louisiana family law attorney well knows.

Regardless of how it comes to be, being a single parent can present significant challenges and finding ways to deal with them can require a certain amount of creativity and fortitude. But where there is a will there can be a way, as a recent story in The Washington Post attempted to highlight.

The focus of the report was on the trend in single mothers combining households. The gist of the story is that it can be tough to make ends meet when you are a single parent, and especially a single mother. Census data indicates that the median income in homes headed by single moms is a third lower than it is for homes led by couples. Being a single parent can also be very lonely.

Those factors being in play, it makes sense that house sharing might be seen as a positive alternative. And indeed, social scientists say that the practice is on the rise as the number of single-mom households continues to increase.

Experts say research clearly shows the value of having a second adult in the home. Both adults and children tend to benefit. But experts and some of the women the newspaper interviewed also allowed that issues can surface if family values aren't properly balanced or one parent isn't as financially stable as the other. And if things don't work out and it results in having to make multiple moves, researchers say that could be detrimental to the children.

Legal observers would agree that good planning with the help of an experienced attorney can help minimize the stress of a divorce. Based on this story, the same might be said about the creation of a new household through home sharing arrangements.

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