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You might think that divorce is divorce and that every divorce works the same way. But this is America, where we love the idea of choice and that attitude extends to the ways we can split as well. Far from a one-size-fits-all affair, divorces come in all shapes and sizes to fit the circumstances and, ultimately, the amenability of the couple.

So, you're splitting up and you want to know your options? Here is a list. As you read them, you'll probably know right off the bat which one will work for you and your soon-to-be ex. However, it's important to keep in mind that collaborative law doesn't mean you can't try other options later. If it doesn't work out, there are always other possibilities.

  • "In pro per" divorce is that rare, elusive split in which both parties can sit down in the living room and hash out the details by themselves.
  • Mediation uses an outside party to bring the couple together. The couple ultimately decides the details, but with the help of the third party.
  • Arbitration mimics mediation, but the third-party ultimately makes the decisions for the couple.
  • Collaborative divorce is a new trend in divorce which stresses the best interests of the children and family using guidance from attorneys.
  • Litigation is the last resort when neither party can come to an agreement. The court decides the outcome and you'll have to abide by it, at least for a time.

A family law attorney can sit down with you and help you decide the best course of action.