Single parenting has become a norm in the United States and is a trend found in many other countries.
At the 2013 census, 17.8% of New Zealand families were single-parent, of which five-sixths were headed by a female.
Single-parent families in New Zealand have fewer children than two-parent families; 56% of single-parent families have only one child and 29% have two children, compared to 38% and 40% respectively for two-parent families.
Sometimes, one finds themselves in a single-parent family structure that has arisen due to death of the partner, intentional artificial insemination, or unplanned pregnancy.
Historically, the death of a partner was a major cause of single parenting.
Divorce was generally rare historically (although this depends by culture and era), and divorce especially became very difficult to obtain after the fall of the Roman Empire, in Medieval Europe, due to strong involvement of ecclesiastical courts in family life (though annulment and other forms of separation were more common).