Reorganizing the Single‐Parent Family System: Exploring the Process Perspective on Divorce. By: Van Gasse, Dries; Mortelmans, Dimitri. Family Relations. Dec2020, Vol. 69 Issue 5, p1100-1112. 13p.

Objective: This study investigated how single parents reorganize their family system after divorce.

Background: Families are dynamic systems that change over time and adapt to crises. Family researchers often approach divorce as a discrete event, however; and little is known about how single parents overcome this crisis and carry on with their lives. Therefore, we investigated the process of how single parents reorganize their households after divorce.

Method: Qualitative analysis based on grounded theory was used to code in‐depth retrospective interviews. Two sources of interviews, as well as triangulation and confirmation techniques, were developed to improve the validity of the study. Sensitizing concepts were derived from Olson’s circumplex model and life course theory.

Results: The reorganization process after divorce is described as having six successive stages, each with particular needs and challenges. By overcoming challenges, single parents move on from one phase to another, ultimately finding a new balance.

Conclusion: Single‐parent family systems, like other family systems, strive for homeostasis and search for a new equilibrium in which it is possible to organize and coordinate various life spheres. This is not a linear process, however, and single parents may experience setbacks.

Implications: It can be difficult for family practitioners to help people through the process of divorce and reorganization as a single parent because every experience is individual and atypical. However, our findings suggest that there are certain stages that practitioners can monitor to increase the pace of the reorganization process.