The Single-Parent Household
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Joint Legal Custody
When parents legally share responsibility for child care, parental decision-making, and economic support of their children following divorce.
Joint Physical Custody
When parents equally share the responsibility for providing their children with a residence. The term is used to distinguish between this arrangement and joint legal custody, which involves shared parental decision-making and economic support, and a situation in which children generally reside with one parent most of the time.
A role assumed by a child (often a daughter or older child) requiring him or her to take responsibility for parenting other children (or the parent) in the single-parent family system.
The role assumed by a single parent that involves accepting complete authority and responsibility for the household and all related tasks, and enlisting the help of others when needed, without allowing them to take over. That is, the parent accepts that the single-parent household can no longer operate as it did when two parents were present.
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