Max Ruthenberg-Marshall is a legal innovator and the founder of Porchlight. Max enjoys helping clients keep conflict down and making the divorce process less painful for them. Whether she is working as a contested or uncontested divorce lawyer, Max’s goal is always to make the divorce process easier for clients.
Max founded Porchlight to fulfill her vision of how to best serve divorce clients. Through her experience, she has seen that the traditional approach to divorce is not actually best for clients. Porchlight focuses on low-conflict and uncontested divorce in Georgia—helping clients keep their case out of court.
Experienced and Compassionate
Max has a strong background in divorce and family law. Before she started her own firm, she worked for a well-known family law firm in Atlanta. She has handled a wide variety of complex and unique divorce and family law issues. She has significant experience settling cases both through negotiations and mediation.
Max believes an attorney-client relationship begins with compassion. She seeks to understand first and then plan legal strategies. Meeting clients’ needs–both practical and emotional–is one of Max’s top priorities.
Max has diverse legal experience supporting her approach to family law. During law school, she volunteered with a legal helpline for victims of domestic violence. Currently, Max serves as a court-appointed Guardian Ad Litem (GAL). In that role, she protects children in contested custody cases. Max is also a registered domestic mediator. Her mediation training helps her analyze cases from all sides and craft solutions. Max’s variety of experience is invaluable in giving her a unique perspective on how to best help her clients.
Keeping Cases Out of Court
Max has seen that the best way to help clients through divorce is to keep their cases out of court. As an uncontested divorce attorney, Max focuses on helping clients reach an agreement with their spouse. Some clients think you need to already agree with your spouse to have an uncontested divorce—this isn’t true. For an uncontested divorce in Georgia, you just need to reach an agreement with your spouse before filing the case in court. Max guides clients through the negotiation process to help them reach this agreement. Once an agreement is reached—and the documents are signed, the court process to finalize an uncontested divorce is simple.
Dedicated to Serving the Community
Max takes great pride in being involved in the community. She teaches the Family Law Workshop in several metro Atlanta counties. In that role, she provides vital information to people representing themselves in the legal system.
She also volunteers with Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (AVLF) and DeKalb Volunteer Lawyers Foundation (DVLF). Both programs help those who cannot afford legal services. Most of her work through these programs focuses on:
- Serving victims of domestic violence
- Assisting with name changes to match gender identities; and
- Helping families gain legal relationships with children in their care.
Max also participates in Swim Across America. This program raises money for cancer research and treatment. Max got involved in the program when her dad was diagnosed with cancer. She has done the one-mile and 1/2-mile open water swims.
Getting to Know Max Personally
The love for the law runs in Max’s family. Both Max’s parents and one of her brothers are also lawyers. She grew up in Maryland, just outside of Washington, D.C. Max started learning about managing family conflict by simply being the oldest of five siblings.
Max loves a physical challenge and completed one 5k per month in 2018. She is also an active swimmer and competes on an adult swim team. Max enjoys reading and participates in two book clubs. She has also taken two solo cross-country trips. Max is a firm believer in overall wellness so that she come back refreshed to work for her clients.
Max currently lives in Decatur with her partner, Kevin, and their two cats, Lorna and Freyja.
The George Washington University Law School, J.D.
The University of Maryland, B.A.
California (Inactive status)
Georgia Trend Legal Elite – 2017, 2018
Super Lawyers Rising Star – 2019
National Academy of Family Law Attorneys – Top Ten Under 40 – 2019
GAWL Committee of the Year – 2018
Atlanta Bar Association
DeKalb Bar Association
Stonewall Bar Association
Georgia Association for Women Lawyers
Lawyers Club of Atlanta
National Association of Women Business Owners
Out Georgia Business Alliance
Decatur Business Association