When do we call mothers “single mothers”?

Single mothers are female humans with children under 18 years old or older.
Their marital status is either

  • divorced
  • married but living separate from their spouse
  • not married
  • widowed

When you see a woman with children in your neighbourhood who is, on a regular basis, not accompanied by a man, it is likely that she is a single mother. Be kind to her. She is carrying a heavy burden.

Divorced means that there has been a legal marriage and the couple legally was divorced.

Married but living separate means that the married couple lives in separate housing. The married couple can be separated by law or separated by mutual consent. A permanent separate life can be assumed if the life and economic community that was part of the marriage no longer exists in the long term, based on the overall picture of the circumstances.

Not married are mothers who gave birth while in a relationship with the father of the child or without a relationship. Other words for “not married” are:
bachelor, husbandless, sole, single, spouseless, unattached, uncoupled, unwed or unwedded.

Widowed means that the husband of a woman (with or without children) died.