The number of children born into unmarried households has increased by almost 10 percent since 2000. Approximately 40 percent of children are born to unmarried parents. A small percentage of those families remain together in cohabiting relationships or eventually get married. However, many of them separate, leaving the children with only one custodial parent. It can be difficult to collect child support from an absent parent in this situation. Laws in both Minnesota and at the federal level make it clear that regardless of marriage status, parents are still expected to help care for any children they bring into the world.