Ruth Atkinson Lusby

When clients are contemplating a divorce, frequently their lives are in emotional and financial turmoil.  Crucial decisions are made during the dissolution of a marriage that will have long term effects on each spouse, as well as on their children. Collaborative Divorce is an alternative conflict resolution process designed to minimize the adverse emotional and financial effects of divorce on the family.  

In the Collaborative Divorce process, both clients are represented by attorneys who facilitate resolution of their divorce in an open, honest and cooperative manner without going to court.  The focus of collaborative divorce is the clients' needs and interests rather than on adversarial court proceedings.  

Collaborative divorce  follows an interdisciplinary approach so that clients not only have the support of their respective collaborative attorneys, but they also may be supported by communciation coaches and financial specialist, who work as a team to guide the clients through every step of the divorce process.  If there are children, a child specialist, can give a voice to the children's needs and concerns. The collaborative divorce team provides emotional, financial and legal support as the couple is guided towards resolution of all issues. 

In collaborative divorce cases, clients and their collaborative team agree in writing that they will not go to court.  All negotiations are done by the clients in the presence of and with the support of their team of professionals in an open, transparent manner.  Clients work with their attorneys and all other members of the team to find an outcome that is in the best interest of the family as a whole. 

Referrals for collaborative divorce professionals are available on the Home page. 


provide clients with tools for better and more productive communication as they negotiate their financial and property issues as they divide their marital estate and their parenting plan, if there are children. 

Collaborative Coaches work with the clients to:

  1. Identify and prioritize the concerns of each person
  2. Make effective use of conflict resolution skills
  3. Develop effective co-parenting skills
  4. With information provided by the child specialist, assist parents in designing their co-parenting plan.
  5. Work collaboratively with the couple, their attorneys and other involved professionals to enhance communication and reduce misunderstandings
  6. Direct their best efforts towards keeping the collaborative process moving toward resolution

Note:  Although coaches are licensed mental health professionals, they will be acting in the role of 
          coach, and will not be providing therapy for you or your spouse.


primary responsibility is to the child, and, thus, is an advocate for the child in the collaborative process. 

The Child Specialist will also:

  1. Provide the child with an opportunity to voice his/her concerns regarding the parenting issues, if appropriate
  2. Provide parents with information and guidance to help their children through this process
  3. Give information to the parents and the team that will help in developing an effective co-parenting plan

Note:  Although  the Child Specialist is a licensed mental health professional, the specialist will not 
          be providing therapy for your child.


is a neutral on the collaborative team and assists clients to gather financial data and create budgets, and during negotiations, answer questions that arise about the client's respective financial circumstances.  

The Collaborative Financial Specialist works with clients to:

  1. Provide on-going practical financial guidance, planning support and budgeting throughout the process
  2. Assist with gathering of financial information
  3. Provide information regarding financial scenarios for clients and Lawyers to consider in their decision making process

​Ruth Atkinson Lusby

Collaborative Divorce


provide the legal advice and counsel and prepare all legal documents necessary to initiate the divorce proceedings, all settlement documents and the final decree.

A collaborative law attorney:

  1. Represents the best interests of his/her respective client and provides legal advice while maintaining the overall goal of a collaborative process
  2. Works collaboratively with other the Collaborative attorney and the Collaborative team
  3. Provides legal coaching and guidance

(480) 874-3400  
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