Confident Handling of Divorce Issues in Harrisburg
When you are considering filing for divorce or have already made the decision to move forward, you need an exceptional legal team on your side. At Cognetti Law Group, we use more than 100 years of combined experience when helping our clients in all aspects of divorce and family law.
We understand the toll that these cases can take on an entire family. Our Harrisburg-area lawyers are thoroughly dedicated to guiding clients through spousal support and alimony, property division, child custody, child support, and other issues that may arise throughout the course of a divorce. We advise clients on the best course of action to take to achieve a dissolution to the marriage, whether that be through mediation outside of court or litigation in court. Our attorneys are skilled negotiators and aggressive litigators, tailoring their approach to suit your goals for the outcome of the case. Veteran attorney Maria Cognetti is also a trained mediator, giving her additional insight into this process.
High Net Worth Divorces
In addition to handling uncontested and straightforward contested divorces, our firm is especially skilled at working with clients in divorce cases involving high net worth assets. These types of high-asset divorces take a higher level of skill and legal acumen since they are often complex and can require the involvement of many other professionals, such as business valuation experts, accountants, and others.
We represent clients in all aspects of high-asset divorces, including valuing and dividing businesses, dividing high-value personal property, distribution of vacation homes and other real property, uncovering of foreign or hidden accounts, dividing stock options and other executive benefits, and more. If there are inheritances that are part of high-value accounts that the couple holds, our lawyers can assist in helping clients understand how the inheritances are handled and divided.
Do you have questions about your divorce? Get the answers you need from our sophisticated and compassionate attorneys and staff. Call our office today at (717) 909-4060 or schedule a consultation online.
Crafting Legal Arrangements for Same-Sex Partners
Same-sex marriage is now legal throughout the United States, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in June of 2015. In Pennsylvania, this form of marriage has been legal for about a year longer than that, since a federal court struck down a state ban. For same-sex partners who can now marry, this is something to be celebrated. But if you are in a same-gender relationship and have substantial assets, it also makes sense to clarify and protect your property interests. At Cognetti Law Group, we can help you craft sound legal arrangements so that a walk down the aisle doesn’t leave you overly vulnerable to unexpected financial consequences. For over 46 years, we have provided sophisticated family law counsel to clients in high-asset and complex cases. Based in the Harrisburg area, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania.
Is a Prenuptial Agreement Needed?
If you and your partner have been together for quite a while before considering marriage, a prenuptial agreement to clarify your property interests may be in order. After all, you may have brought valuable property into the relationship, and you and your partner have probably acquired considerable assets during your time together. A prenuptial agreement is a way to articulate what happens to these assets and property interests in the event of divorce or death. Prenuptial agreements can also address child custody issues in the event of divorce, as well as the rights of a surviving spouse at death. Our attorneys can guide you effectively through the process of determining your goals and implementing an effective solution. Prenups are emotionally touchy sometimes because you are often working on the prenup while also trying to plan your upcoming wedding. But it’s important to be aware of what is at stake and take appropriate steps to create a sensible legal structure.
Resolving Financial Issues in a Same-Sex Divorce
If the time has come for you to end a same-sex marriage, an experienced lawyer from our firm can take steps on your behalf to arrange a fair division of marital property. In a high net worth marriage, there will likely be numerous aspects to this such as the valuation and allocation of interests in real estate, investment and retirement accounts, business interests, and other assets. Our law firm has a proven ability to handle these types of issues effectively on behalf of our clients. Collaborating with our network of accountants, tax planners, and other financial professionals as needed, we will make sure your interests are protected.
Get the Experienced Legal Counsel You Need
Can a Child Support Obligation Be Entered Pursuant to a Pre- or Postnuptial Agreement?Neither parent may, through a pre- or postnuptial agreement, bargain away his or her responsibility to pay child support. No matter how carefully drafted, an agreement that states that one parent will not be responsible for child support, or will be responsible for less child support than he or she would be obligated to pay under the law, will be held unenforceable. Child support is a right that belongs to the child, and the child’s parents are not legally able to bargain away that right.
Can Alimony Be Modified or Terminated?If alimony is ordered by the court, the amount of alimony a person receives may be modified upon a showing of changed circumstances of either party. Such changed circumstances may include involuntary income reduction and forced retirement. If an award of alimony is entered into pursuant to an agreement of the parties, the parties can agree that the alimony be either modifiable or nonmodifiable. Alimony terminates upon the remarriage of the party receiving the alimony or upon the death of either party. Alimony also terminates if the person receiving it cohabitates with an unrelated member of the opposite sex. The parties can also determine the duration of alimony in a pre- or postnuptial agreement.
How Are Spousal Support and Alimony Pendente Lite Calculated?Like child support, in determining spousal support or APL, the court first looks at the net monthly incomes of both parties. The court then utilizes a formula and applies the Pennsylvania Support Guidelines, which are based on the total of the parties’ net incomes. Factors such as child custody, mortgage payments and insurance premiums can change this guideline amount. Additionally, high-income cases are analyzed differently. The attorneys at Cognetti Law Group are familiar with Pennsylvania’s support law and can help you understand the intricacies of these calculations.
When Does Child Support End?Usually, the obligation to pay child support continues until the child reaches the age of 18 or graduates from high school, whichever event happens later. However, there are some limited situations in which the obligation may continue longer. For example, if the child is mentally or physically handicapped, the obligation to care for the child may continue indefinitely.
When and Where Can I File for Divorce?In order to file for a divorce in Pennsylvania, one or both of the parties must have resided in Pennsylvania for at least six months immediately preceding the filing date. The divorce action may be filed in the county where either party lives, or the parties can agree in writing to pursue the action in any Pennsylvania county. The parties can also agree to pursue the action in a particular county by participating in the divorce process once filed by the other spouse.
I wanted to thank you for representing me and handling my divorce, and child custody arrangement a few years ago.- R.H.
Maria was tough! I now understand why. Allowing her to do what she felt was best for me, gave me a settlement in favor of me rather than paying out.- D.C.
There is no way I would have made it through this life-changing ordeal without Cognetti & Associates! I’ve had several folks ask me who represented me and I’ve gladly shared.- G.M.
Going through divorce is a terrible experience, no matter what! However, your ways and means of guiding me through the process was very helpful.- A.O.
Thank you very much for everything that you and your staff did for me.- L.M.
Her support staff is also phenomenal, from her receptionist to her highly skilled (and very kind) paralegal. I never thought I’d need a family law attorney, but I am so glad I have her.- E.D.
Between her tenacity and intellect, she took me from paying out $110,000 to $50,000 and ending with saving me $65,000 in my divorce settlement.- D.C.
Two years (sic) I needed a divorce attorney and Cognetti and Associates came highly recommended. They got me exactly what I needed.- D.F.