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Maria P. Cognetti

Email MeMaria P. Cognetti

Owner
Location:
Camp Hill, Pennsylvania
Phone:
717-884-8939
800-465-0103
Fax:
717-909-4068
Email:

Attorney Maria P. Cognetti founded Cognetti & Associates to provide high quality legal representation for Pennsylvania clients with family law matters.  Ms. Cognetti limits her practice to divorce, child custody, child support, spousal support, property division and property settlement agreements, pre-nuptial agreements, and all other types of family law related issues.  Ms. Cognetti’s more complex matters frequently involve multiple experts, business valuations, division of pensions and stock options, and the analysis of other complicated financial data.  Attorney Cognetti received her Bachelor’s Degree from Franklin & Marshall College in 1975, and was awarded her law degree in 1978 from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.  Ms. Cognetti has practiced family law for over 35 years.

Ms. Cognetti is a recognized leader – in Bar Associations, in professional organizations, and among the public – who regularly teaches other lawyers about the intricacies of family law.  As one of Pennsylvania’s leading family law attorneys, Ms. Cognetti is the President of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and a Past President of the Pennsylvania Chapter.  She is also a Fellow of the International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.  As past Chair of the Family Law Section of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, and as Chair of the Subcommittee on Custody of the Joint State Government Commission Advisory Committee on Domestic Relations Law, Ms. Cognetti was instrumental in drafting major revisions to Pennsylvania’s custody laws.  Ms. Cognetti has testified before the Pennsylvania legislature on pending family law legislation, and has presented numerous seminars and lectures for many organizations, including the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and the Pennsylvania Bar Association.  Ms. Cognetti also serves on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Domestic Relations Rules Committee and as a member of the Hearing Committee of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.   

In recognition of her service, Ms. Cognetti was honored in 2011 by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers with their Fellow of the Year award for her efforts on national issues affecting families.  Similarly, the Pennsylvania Bar Association recognized her with a Special Achievement Award for her work on Pennsylvania’s new Child Custody Act.  She also received a Presidential Service Award from the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts.  Ms. Cognetti is listed in The Best Lawyers in America, and the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry of Preeminent Lawyers.  She has also been a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since 2005, and holds an AV Preeminent (5.0 out of 5.0) rating from Martindale-Hubbell. 

Ms. Cognetti is licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, as well as before the United States District Courts for the Western and Middle Districts of Pennsylvania and the United States Supreme Court.  A native of New York City, Ms. Cognetti is a life-long New York Yankees fan, who also enjoys equestrian sports and spending quality time with her family.

Areas of Practice

  • 100% Family Law
  • Divorce
  • Child Custody & Visitation
  • Child Support, Spousal Support, APL, and Alimony
  • Practice Limited to Matrimonial Law

Litigation Percentage

  • 50% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Certified Legal Specialties

  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania, 1978
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Pennsylvania, 1978
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Pennsylvania, 1982
  • U.S. Federal Courts, 1978
  • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, 2010
  • Supreme Court of the United States of America, 2004

Education

  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    • J.D. - 1978
  • Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
    • B.A. - 1975
    • Major: Psychology

Classes/Seminars

  • Speaker, NBI Divorce Law A to Z, Harrisburg, PA, August 22, 2013
  • Course Planner/Moderator, Family Law Practice in Central Pennsylvania, PBI, Mechanicsburg, PA, November, 2012
  • Speaker, Family Law Seminar, Iowa Bar Association, Des Moines, IA, October, 2012
  • Speaker, AAML Custody Evaluation Standards, Hartford County Annual Family Law Case Management Conference, Bel Air, MD, September, 2012
  • Speaker, Custody Evaluation: What Are We Looking At, National Council on Juvenile and Family Court Judges National Conference, Las Vegas, NV, March, 2012
  • Speaker, Key Issues Under the New Custody Act, Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges, Philadelphia, PA, February, 2012
  • Speaker, Advanced Issues in Child Custody: How Divorce Lawyers and Mental Health Professionals Work With and Against Each Other, AAML/AFCC, Philadelphia, PA, September, 2011
  • Speaker, Mental Health-Attorney Consultation in Child Custody Cases Ethical and Methodological Considerations, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Annual Conference, Orlando, FL, June, 2011
  • Course Planner/Moderator, Presentation of a Custody Evaluation in a Complex Custody Trial, PBI, Philadelphia, PA, May, 2011
  • Course Planner/Moderator, Presentation of a Custody Evaluation in a Complex Custody Trial, PBI, Mechanicsburg, PA, May, 2011
  • Course Planner/Moderator, Presentation of a Custody Evaluation in a Complex Custody Trial, PBI, Pittsburgh, PA, May, 2011
  • Course Planner/Speaker, Intersection of Legal and Mental Health Issues in Custody Cases, PBI, Philadelphia, PA, February, 2011
  • Course Planner/Speaker, Intersection of Legal and Mental Health Issues in Custody Cases, PBI, Mechanicsburg, PA, February, 2011
  • Speaker, The New Custody Law In Pennsylvania, Franklin County Bar Association, Lunch & Learn, Chambersburg, PA, January, 2011
  • Speaker, HB 1639, PBI, PBA Family Law Section Winter Meeting, Lancaster, PA, January, 2011
  • Speaker, HB 1639 – The Ins and Outs of the New Custody Law, Cumberland County Bar Association, Lunch & Learn, Carlisle, PA, January, 2011
  • Speaker, 14th Annual Family Law Update, PBI, Mechanicsburg, PA, November, 2010
  • Course Planner/Speaker, Custody Evaluation Standards, AAML, Annual Meeting, Chicago, IL, November, 2010
  • Speaker, AFCC Ninth Symposium on Child Custody Evaluations, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Boston, MA, October, 2010
  • Speaker, Drafting Marital Settlement Agreements, PBI, Mechanicsburg, PA, February, 2009
  • Speaker, Pitfalls of Family Law - Malpractice/Ethics, PBI, PBA Family Law Section Winter Meeting, Philadelphia, PA, January, 2008
  • Speaker, Pitfalls of Family Law - Malpractice and/or Ethical Dilemma, PBI, Philadelphia, PA, August, 2007
  • Speaker, How to Ace Your Appeal, PBI, Family Law Institute, Mechanicsburg, PA, April, 2007
  • Speaker, How to Ace Your Appeal, PBI, PBA Family Law Section Winter Meeting, Atlantic City, NJ, January, 2007
  • Speaker, Analyzing Tax Returns, DRAP Conference, Valley Forge, PA, November, 2006
  • Speaker, Ethics for Family Lawyers, PBI, Mechanicsburg, PA, August, 2006
  • Speaker, Fundamentals of Family Law, PBI, Mechanicsburg, PA, July, 2006
  • Faculty, Intensive Trial Advocacy Program, Widener University, Harrisburg, PA, May, 2006,
  • Speaker, Ninth Annual Family Law Update, PBI, Mechanicsburg, PA, November, 2005
  • Speaker, General Practitioner's Update, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, June, 2005
  • Speaker, Earning Capacity in Support Cases, DRAP Conference, Nemacolin, PA, November, 2004
  • Speaker, Eighth Annual Family Law Update, PBI, Mechanicsburg, PA, October, 2004
  • Testified, Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee Public Hearing on pending Custody legislation, Harrisburg, PA, August, 2004 (appeared on behalf of the Joint State Government Commission Advisory Committee on Domestic Relations Law)
  • Speaker, General Practitioner's Update, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, June, 2004
  • Speaker, Drafting Marital Settlement Agreements, PBI, Mechanicsburg, PA, December, 2003
  • Speaker, Seventh Annual Family Law Update, PBI, Mechanicsburg, PA, November, 2003
  • Speaker, Family Law Practice in Central Pennsylvania, PBI, Mechanicsburg, PA, October, 2003
  • Speaker, General Practitioner's Update, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, June, 2003
  • Speaker, Finding Hidden Income The Balance Sheet: What You Need to Know PBA Family Law Section Winter Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, January, 2003
  • Speaker, Sixth Annual Family Law Update, PBI, Mechanicsburg, PA, October, 2002
  • Speaker, Earning Capacity in Support Cases and Tax Return Analysis, DRAP Conference, Nemacolin, PA, October, 2002
  • Course Planner/Speaker/Author, Trial of a Custody Case, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, August, 2002
  • Course Planner/Speaker/Author, Trial of a Custody Case, PBI, Philadelphia, PA, August, 2002
  • Speaker, General Practitioner's Update, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, June, 2002
  • Testified, Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee Public Hearing on pending Custody legislation, Harrisburg, PA, May, 2002 (appeared on behalf of the Joint State Government Commission Advisory Committee on Domestic Relations Law)
  • Speaker, How to Read Tax Returns, Franklin County Domestic Relations Office, Chambersburg, PA, May, 2002
  • Speaker, Dealing with Earning Capacity in Support Actions, Cumberland County Bar Association, Carlisle, PA, January, 2002
  • Speaker, Litigating Custody Cases, PBI, Philadelphia, PA, January, 2002
  • Speaker, Business Valuation in Equitable Distribution, PBI, Mechanicsburg, PA, December, 2001
  • Speaker, How to Read Tax Returns, Dauphin County Domestic Relations Office, Harrisburg, PA, November, 2001
  • Speaker, Fifth Annual Family Law Update, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, October, 2001
  • Speaker, Family Law Potpourri, PBI, Philadelphia, PA April, 2001
  • Testified, Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee Public Hearing on pending Presumptive Joint Custody legislation, Harrisburg, PA, April, 2001 (appeared on behalf of the Joint State Government Commission Advisory Committee on Domestic Relations Law)
  • Moderator/Speaker, , Family Law Practice in Central Pennsylvania, PBI, Mechanicsburg, PA, February, 2001
  • Speaker, Fourth Annual Family Law Update, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, November, 2000
  • Speaker, Tax Consequences in Divorce: Avoiding the Pitfalls, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, August, 2000
  • Speaker, Practicum on Custody and Divorce, DCBA, Harrisburg, PA, April, 2000
  • Moderator/Speaker, , Fundamentals of Family Law, PBI, Mechanicsburg, PA, March, 2000
  • Speaker, Joint State Government Commission Recommendations on Custody, PBA, Philadelphia, PA, January, 2000
  • Speaker, Third Annual Family Law Update, PBI, Mechanicsburg, PA, November, 1999
  • Speaker, Joint State Commission Update: What You Need to Know, PBA, New York City, NY, July 1999
  • Testified, Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee Public Hearing on pending Paternity legislation, Harrisburg, PA, April, 1999 (appeared on behalf of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section)
  • Speaker, Tips from the Frontline: Pragmatic Custody, PBI, Mechanicsburg, PA, April, 1999
  • Speaker/Author, Evidentiary Issues at Trial and on Appeal, PBA, Pittsburgh, PA, January 1999
  • Speaker/Author, Advanced Custody Relocation Seminar, AAML, PA Chapter, Pittsburgh, PA, January, 1999
  • Speaker, Evidence for Family Lawyers, NITA, Mechanicsburg, PA, December, 1998
  • Speaker/Author, Second Annual Family Law Update, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, November, 1998
  • Speaker, Reading Tax Returns for the Self-Employed Defendant, D.R.A.P. Conference, Harrisburg, PA, September, 1998
  • Course Planner/Speaker/Author, Trial of a Custody Case, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, April, 1998
  • Course Planner/Speaker/Author, Trial of a Custody Case, PBI, Philadelphia, PA, April, 1998
  • Course Planner/Speaker/Author, First Annual Family Law Update, PBI, Harrisburg PA, November, 1997
  • Course Planner/Speaker/Author, First Annual Family Law Update, PBI, Pittsburgh, PA, October, 1997
  • Speaker, Collateral Issues in Family Law: Tax Fraud, Criminal Actions, and Bankruptcy, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, June, 1997
  • Speaker/Author, Update on the Support Guidelines, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, May, 1997
  • Course Planner/Speaker/Author, Family Law Arbitration and Mediation, PBI, Pittsburgh, PA, April, 1997
  • Course Planner/Speaker/Author, Family Law Arbitration and Mediation, PBI, Harrisburg, PA February, 1997
  • Course Planner/Speaker/Author, Family Law Practice in Central Pennsylvania, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, February, 1997
  • Speaker, Drafting Marital Settlement Agreements, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, November, 1996
  • Speaker, Equitable Distribution Update, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, October, 1996
  • Speaker, Fundamentals of Family Law, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, March, 1996
  • Speaker, Advanced Family Symposium, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, December, 1995
  • Course Planner/Speaker/Author, Hot Issues in Custody, PBI, Pittsburgh, PA, November, 1995
  • Speaker/Author, AAML Advanced Mediation Training, AAML, Chicago, Illinois, November, 1995
  • Course Planner/Speaker/Author, Hot Issues in Custody, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, October, 1995
  • Course Planner/Speaker/Author, Hot Issues in Custody, PBI, Philadelphia, PA, September, 1995
  • Speaker, Tax Traps in Divorce Law, PBI, Harrisburg, PA July, 1995
  • Speaker/Author, AAML Mediation Training, AAML, Chicago, Illinois, January, 1995
  • Speaker, Women and Divorce: The Legal Aspects, Woman Care, Harrisburg, January, 1995
  • Speaker, AAML Mediation Training Panel, AAML, Chicago, Illinois, November, 1994
  • Speaker, AAML Mediation Training, AAML, Chicago, Illinois, June, 1994
  • Speaker/Author, Fundamentals of Family Law, PBI, Scranton, PA, March, 1994
  • Speaker/Author, Fundamentals of Family Law, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, February, 1994
  • Speaker, Equitable Distribution Update, PBI, Harrisburg, PA March, 1993
  • Speaker, Family Law Update, DCBA/PBI, Harrisburg, PA, November, 1993
  • Audio Lecture, College Support in Light of Blue v. Blue and Act 62, PBI, October, 1993
  • Speaker, Support Law Update, PBI, Harrisburg, PA July, 1993
  • Speaker, Child and Spousal Support, PBI, Harrisburg, PA March, 1992
  • Speaker, Tax Aspects of Divorce, PBI, Harrisburg, PA November, 1991
  • Speaker, Equitable Distribution Update, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, October, 1991
  • Speaker/Author, How to Challenge Psychological Evidence in Custody Cases, PBI, Harrisburg, PA July, 1991
  • Speaker/Author, Tax Aspects of Separation and Divorce, PBI, Harrisburg, PA November, 1989
  • Speaker/Author, Prenuptial Agreements, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, September, 1988
  • Speaker/Author, Prenuptial Agreements, PBI, Pittsburgh, PA, September, 1988
  • Speaker/Author, Prenuptial Agreements, PBI, Allentown, PA, September, 1988
  • Speaker, Family Law Statewide Institute - The Evolution of a Contested Domestic Relations Case, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, November, 1984
  • Speaker, Shaping the Future, D.R.A.P. Conference, Harrisburg, PA, September, 1988
  • Speaker, Family Law Developments 1987, Dickinson School of Law, Carlisle, PA, April, 1987
  • Speaker, What the Divorce Code Can Do to Your Estate and Business Clients, PBI, Harrisburg, PA, October, 1986
  • Speaker, The Nuts and Bolts of the Family Law Case, PaTLA, Champion, PA, July, 1986
  • Speaker, Annual Update of the Law, PaTLA, White Haven, PA, July, 1985
  • Speaker, Sex Discrimination and Sexual Harassment in Law Offices, PBI, Hershey, PA, May, 1983
  • Speaker, Family Law Statewide Institute, PBI, Sunbury, PA, November, 1981

Honors and Awards

  • AAML Fellow of the Year, 2011
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association Special Achievement Award, 2011
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts Presidential Service Award, 2011
  • Appointed to the Hearing Committee of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, 2010 - 2014
  • Appointed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Domestic Relations Rules Committee, 2009 - 2014
  • Appointed to Joint State Government Commission Advisory Committee on Domestic Relations Law Chairman, Subcommittee on Custody, 1996 - 2014
  • Appointed to Joint State Government Commission Advisory Committee on Domestic Relations Law Member, Subcommittee on Property Rights , 1996 - 2014
  • Appointed to Joint State Government Commission Advisory Committee on Domestic Relations Law Member, Subcommittee on Alimony, 1996 - 2014
  • Appointed to Commission for Justice Initiatives in PA Changing the Culture of Custody Committee, 2005 - 2014
  • Rated "AV" by Martindale Hubbell
  • Recognized as a Preeminent Lawyer by Martindale Hubbell
  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America
  • Chosen as Central Pennsylvania's Best Lawyers, Family Lawyer of the Year , 2010
  • Listed in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, President , 2013 - 2014
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Chair, By-Laws Committee, 1988 - Present
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Chair, Custody Standards Committee, 1988 - Present
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Past Member, Board of Governors, 1988 - Present
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Past Co-Chair, CLE Committee, 1988 - Present
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Past President, Pennsylvania Chapter, 1988 - Present
  • American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Past Member, Board of Managers and Board of Examiners, Pennsylvania Chapter, 1988 - Present
  • Fellow, International Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Past Editor, Newsletter, 2002 - Present
  • Diplomate, American College of Family Trial Lawyers, 2012 - Present
  • American Bar Association, Member, 2008 - Present
  • American Bar Association, Family Law Section, Member, 2008 - Present
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association, Member, 1978 - Present
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association, Family Law Section, Past Chair, 1978 - Present
  • Dauphin County Bar Association, Member, 1980 - Present
  • Dauphin County Bar Association, Member, Court Relations Committee, 1980 - Present
  • Dauphin County Bar Association, Member, Family Law Section, 1980 - Present
  • Dauphin County Bar Association, Past Member, Board of Directors, 1980 - Present
  • Dauphin County Bar Association, Family Law Section, Past Chairman, 1980 - Present
  • Cumberland County Bar Association, Member, 2000 - Present
  • Cumberland County Bar Association, Family Law Section, Member, 2000 - Present
  • Franklin County Bar Association, Member, 2003 - Present
  • Franklin County Bar Association, Family Law Section, Member, 2003 - Present
  • Cumberland County American Inn of Court, Master, 2001 - Present
  • Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, Member, 2010 - Present
  • Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, Past Member
  • Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, Past Member, Board of Governors
  • Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, Past Chairman, Family Law Section
  • Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association, Former Casenotes Editor for The Barrister
  • American Trial Lawyers Association, Past Member
  • Dauphin County Seminar for Separating Parents Task Force, Past Member
  • Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers Association LAWPAC, Past Member

Past Employment Positions

  • Maria P. Cognetti & Associates, Sole Proprietor, 2000 - 2012
  • Law Offices of Maria P. Cognetti, Sole Proprietor, 1994 - 1999
  • Mette, Evans & Woodside, Shareholder, 1990 - 1993
  • Killian & Gephart, Partner, 1980 - 1990
  • Meyers & Desfor, Associate, 1979 - 1980
  • Zupancic & Somerton, Associate, 1978 - 1979
  • Court-Appointed Custody Conference Officer, County of Dauphin, 1985 - 2005

Pro Bono Activities

  • Member, Kiwanis Club of Harrisburg, 1996 - 2002
  • Member, Board of Directors, Kiwanis Club of Harrisburg, 1996 - 2002
  • Member, Pennsylvania National Horse Show Steering Committee, Kiwanis Club of Harrisburg, 1996 - 2002
  • Chair, Merchandise Committee, Kiwanis Club of Harrisburg, 1996 - 2002
  • Founding Member, Christopher Columbus 1492 Society, 1992 - Present
Please click here to view Attorney Cognetti's curriculum vitae (CV).

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Our Team

Led by Pennsylvania divorce lawyer Maria P. Cognetti, our team of attorneys and staff is experienced in protecting the interests of our clients, and we are equipped to get results. We employ a team approach, and clients trust the collective experience our firm provides.

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Our Services

Our firm handles all family law cases, including divorce, custody, support and equitable division. We also provide effective representation in complex family law matters, such as business valuation, division of high net worth estates and complex custody cases.

OUR SERVICES

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Cognetti & Associates is committed to providing families effective representation needed to ensure a sound future following a divorce. For a consultation to discuss your case and how we can help, please contact our firm today at 717-884-8939 or 800-465-0103.

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