Myth: One-third or more U.S. children are fatherless

From All In:

Census figures show that 17 million kids live in homes with just one parent, their mother. That’s about 24 percent of kids, up from 21 percent in 1991… 
But many of these kids are not “fatherless.” The homes that they are registered as living in, sometimes for school purposes, are with their mothers. But some of these kids still spend time with their fathers… 
“Fatherlessness” can mean different things to different people, so there’s no way to say how many American kids are experiencing it. Many of these kids who do spend some time with their dads need more of it. By emphasizing real numbers I’m not for a second suggesting that this isn’t a crisis. It absolutely is.
There are cases of involuntary absence— for example, dads who are denied access to their kids. But most absentee dads could be in their children’s lives if they made the effort.