Poetry  by MAURY WHITE, ESQ.


Hello Mr. Lawyer, I’m sorry to report
I think it’s time for me to take my husband to court.
I don’t want to go to the cleaners and I only want what’s fair,
What can you do for me and will you really care?
We do not like court of course
I’ve heard there’s a different way to divorce.

But who will represent the scoundrel?
He said he’ll find a shark.
I fear he’ll hide the money and keep me in the dark.
Do not fear the darkness, the best are in our group.
We will give him a list of lawyer names
They’ll each give him the straight poop.
We do not like court, of course,
We will find a different way to divorce.

The first meeting will be scheduled and
We’ll uncover your interests and goals.
You will sign an agreement to operate in good faith
And your lawyers will be limited in their traditional roles.
If the conversations become tense,
and the finances a mess,
You can both hire one mental or money specialist.
Court, court. We will not go to court.
Of course, you will find a different way to divorce.

The next step requires information.
About kids and jobs,
Old girl friends and feelings.
There may be many tears and even some sobs.
We’ll need budgets and mortgages,
Car payments and loans
Bonus information and you may even have to limit yearnings for Starbucks and scones.
Do you want to live in the city or do you need a new career?
The information gathering stage is nothing to fear.
But court? No court. We’ll find another way of course.
A different way to divorce.

After we share the information which is all of your news.
You will consider all the options from which you can choose.
The consequences can be considered;
Both the good and the bad.
What might it feel like, if this is what you had?
But do not worry, it’s not time to decide;
the difference with this the process, is time’s on your side.
Court, court; we not not like court.
This of course,
Is a different way to divorce.

We will work together to create a parenting plan.
Father will be part mom and you will do some that used to be for your man.
Once the schedule is set and you’ve learned what it takes,
The skills of collaboration will allow for flexibility when us parents make mistakes.
It’s the kids best interests we want to protect
And Mom and Dad and the team as a whole, will always remember
Never to forget RESPECT.
This sounds very different; no court of course.
What we are doing here, is a different way to divorce.

After the plan, you’ll understand what it all costs.
The budgets reveal that something may get lost.
But wait if you can , do not freak out!
Be patient at this point, there’s no need to shout.
We’re creating a new scheme, something different indeed.
Money is fungible, it can be used as a seed.
Forget all the labels, let’s just see where we’re at.
Whether you call it alimony or support,
Remember we are not in court.
Uncle Sam could take his share,
Or we can treat it another way.
In the collaborative process you always have the last say.
You have learned by now, we do not like court of course
We really do know a different way to divorce.

We have marshaled your assets, and traced what we could, a house from before and and a pension, marital at its core.
We have a plan for allocation, a distribution if you will,
This could be yours and he might swallow that pill.
We must talk about how it feels and whether there’s cash flow to pay the bill,
We’ll need to discuss again both interest and goal,
To see if they still fit, there will be some negotiation  for this final split.
No court, no court, you will not pay that toll,
This of course
is a different way to divorce.

I will be talking with your spouse’s attorney to manage the conflict
She is my collaborative partner and This process is our task.
You and your kids’ dad will answer the questions we ask,
The responses you share are really what’s behind your mask.
You will tell us what is really important; what can stand the test of time,
You’ve been married quite awhile each towing the line,
Now that you’re uncoupled
You will each need to be so much more so very sublime.
It will take effort and skills but you’ve learned how to deal
Co-parents for life with your own hands on the wheel.

You made the choices all on your own,
And the process worked, as the agreement set forth
Just as we planned, you listened, we heard
You’ve done the hard work your children deserve.
No court was needed, not even a threat,
You found a new way of course
A different path to divorce.

Maury White practices Collaborative Law in Cincinnati, Ohio.  www.collaborativefamilylaw.biz   He served as the Chair of the Cincinnati Academy of Collaborative Professionals (CACP) from 2006 to 2008. In addition to the Cincinnati Academy, Maury is a member of the Southwest Ohio Collaborative Law Association in Warren County, the Collaborative Family Law Association of Butler County and the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals. Maury has limited his practice to Mediation and Collaborative Law. Maury was certified by the Ohio State Bar Association as a Family Relations Specialist in 2004. He has over 30 years of courtroom experience and is a member of the Cincinnati Bar Association and the Ohio State Bar Association. He was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Ohio, United States District Court and the United States Court of Appeals. Maury currently serves as chair of the Ohio Supreme Court’s advisory sub-committee on Collaborative Law. Maury has also been periodically appointed Guardian Ad Litem for children and incompetents by the Domestic Relations judges in Hamilton County, Ohio. He is a founding member of Congregation of Beit Chaverim, and served as the Reform Jewish congregation’s first president. Maury has served on the Cincinnati Board of Overseers at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion and has volunteered at Beech Acres in Cincinnati, as a family relations mediator.