Imagine a peaceful approach to resolving disagreements between a husband and wife who are happily married—not so hard to imagine.

Now imagine a peaceful approach to resolving disagreements between a husband and a wife who are getting divorced. That’s exactly what Stu Webb, a family-law attorney in Minnesota, did twenty years ago. Back then it took a revolutionary imagination.

But now, Maryland is about to become the tenth state to enact laws that provide for a peaceful approach to resolving disagreements between couples getting divorced—Maryland is enacting a collaborative law statute that provides the option of removing divorce matters from the adversarial court system. Seven other states have bills pending in their legislatures this year to enact collaborative law statutes. North Carolina was one of the first to enact such a statute back in 2003.

The collaborative law approach is now also firmly entrenched in Canada as a peaceful approach to conflict resolution. In a recent article from the Vancouver Courier one of the first Canadians to go through a collaborative divorce process described her experience. She admitted, with a wry laugh, that the collaborative process helped her realize that she “needed to love her child more than she hated her husband.” The collaborative process helped her get past her bitter feelings toward her ex-husband to become, over time, real friends in the raising of their daughter.

In North Carolina, we have over ten years of experience with collaborative law proceedings under North Carolina’s collaborative law statute. Resolving conflicts in the divorce process using a peaceful approach no longer requires imagination. It’s here.