High-Asset Divorce

Harrisburg High-Asset Divorce Lawyers

Serving Dauphin, Cumberland, & Franklin Counties, as well as Clients Throughout Central Pennsylvania

Although some divorces can be amicable, quick, and uncomplicated, certain high-conflict, or high net worth, cases require greater expertise, specialized attention, and capable representation to protect client interests, assets, and future. At Cognetti Law Group, we have devoted more than 40 years to family law and have garnered the veteran insight and record of success needed to protect your financial interests as someone with significant assets. 

We understand that certain aspects of divorce can be extremely complex, and we help those with often high-conflict divorces work through those complex issues involving high assets,  complex financial holdings, and unique business issues.

Call (717) 909-4060 or contact us with an online message to get started. 

What Is at Stake in Pennsylvania High-Asset Divorce?

Many complex divorce cases center on finances and business interests. These assets include corporations, partnerships, retirement accounts, real estate, investment accounts, stocks, and stock options.

We are equipped to handle all complexities of divorce and property division in Pennsylvania, including:

  • Business valuations
  • Pensions
  • Stock options
  • Forensic accounting
  • Cash flow analyses
  • Qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs)
  • Retrospective real estate appraisals
  • Hidden assets
  • Tax consequences
  • Depositions
  • Vocational analyses

Our firm works closely with financial experts and professionals to evaluate the true worth of marital assets and craft solutions to protect your financial interests and provide the financial stability you need to move forward. In cases of significant wealth or business interests, we provide sophisticated representation in seeking a fair and just property and financial settlement. 

Get the Skilled Professional Services You Need

Cognetti Law Group has the background and record of success to resolve these complex divorces. Led by veteran attorneys Maria Cognetti and Dave Schanbacher, we work closely with accountants, business evaluators, actuaries, and appraisers in Pennsylvania and across the country. Opposing attorneys respect our thorough preparation and ability to help our clients reach favorable resolutions in court, which often results in a speedy and advantageous settlement. 

Dividing Personal Property in High-Asset Divorce

In Pennsylvania divorce, all property and assets are divided according to the law of equitable distribution. This means that possessions and accounts are divided equally and fairly but not necessarily in a 50-50 fashion.

Equitable distribution applies to all property and assets, regardless of their value. However, all the effects must be properly valued to ensure fairness. This can be difficult when the personal property is of high net worth.

Reviews & Testimonials

    "I am truly thankful I had you and your team of professionals on my side."

    I wanted to thank you for representing me and handling my divorce, and child custody arrangement a few years ago.

    - R.H.
    "I am very grateful for her and her staff."

    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.
    "I have so much appreciation for all you’ve done."

    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.
    "You helped me salvage my self-respect."

    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.
    "If I need an attorney again for any reason, I will be happy to give you a call."

    Thank you very much for everything that you and your staff did for me.

    - L.M.
    "She is responsive, decisive, and most importantly, honest about the legal process and expectations."

    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.
    "Maria and her associates are beyond exceptional!!"

    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.
    "My expectations were not only met but exceeded."

    Two years (sic) I needed a divorce attorney and Cognetti and Associates came highly recommended. They got me exactly what I needed.

    - D.F.

Partnering with You to Protect What Is Yours

Our legal team at Cognetti Law Group is highly experienced at handling high-asset divorce cases, as well as sensitive property valuation and division cases. We understand that you want to keep many of your possessions, and we work to see that you retain property whenever possible. Experts are enlisted when personal property needs to be valued, including professionals who can appraise a property that may be difficult to value. 

Types of high-value properties that are often the subject of the division include:

  • Cars, motorcycles, and other vehicles
  • Recreational vehicles, such as four-wheelers and golf carts
  • Jewelry
  • Paintings and other pieces of art
  • Sports equipment
  • Family heirlooms

Before ascertaining the value of an object or having it appraised, it may be important to determine if it is separate or marital property. In some instances, a piece of tangible personal property may have been owned before the marriage took place and, as such, would be considered separate property, which is not subject to division. 

Once the status of a personal tangible property is properly determined as being part of the marital estate, we can have experts appraise the possession and determine its worth. From that point, the property can be divided equally and fairly.

When the property has emotional value, such as family photo albums and gifts from loved ones, it can be harder to divide. However, our lawyers are skilled negotiators and can be persuasive in their arguments for or against the tangible property being retained by a spouse.

Protecting Assets in Divorce After 50

The divorce rate for people over 50 is more than double what it was 20 years ago. The rate has risen so much that one in four people getting divorced is over 50. This is often referred to as “grey divorce.” For individuals going through this experience, many factors must be considered in planning for the future. Individuals with substantial assets must protect those assets when crafting a divorce settlement. 

At Cognetti Law Group, we have ably guided clients through the divorce process for many decades. We focus a great deal of our practice on helping high-asset clients resolve complex property division issues, as well as other complicated legal questions that can arise in later-in-life divorces. 

What Must Be Decided in Grey Divorce? 

Our attorneys are skilled at helping clients navigate the full gamut of potential issues when creating a new life after divorce. 

This includes:

  • Property division. After couples have spent 20 or 30 years accumulating valuable assets, dividing property equitably in a divorce proceeding often involves complex considerations. Our family law attorneys have the financial acumen, as well as litigation and negotiation skills, to protect your interests in assets such as retirement accounts, securities holdings, business ownership interests, real estate, and other valuable assets.
  • Children. Those who became parents later in life may still have minor children and the need for a custody plan and possibly spousal support payments. If the children are older, it may be advisable to consider arrangements for passing along the property to them, such as setting up a trust. Our lawyers are adept at helping you identify and assert your interests.

Alimony or spousal support. In Pennsylvania, alimony and spousal support are not synonymous terms. If one spouse was financially dependent on the other, temporary alimony may be available while the divorce process is pending. In appropriate cases, a need for long-term or indefinite alimony may be needed. We advocate for our clients’ positions effectively in making appropriate determinations.

Inheritances: Separate or Marital Property?

Pennsylvania law establishes that any assets or property acquired before a marriage is considered separate property and is generally not subject to division in a divorce. Likewise, any property and assets acquired during a marriage are considered marital property and are subject to division. However, inheritances are handled differently.

When you are facing a divorce that involves the potential division of an inheritance, we can help. Our team has a vast knowledge of the laws that govern property division and how complex issues are best addressed.

Inheritance Division

If the inheritance, whether it is monetary or property, is in one spouse’s name alone, it is theirs to keep and is not subject to division. This is true if the inheritance was obtained before the marriage or during the marriage. However, if the inheritance is in both spouses’ names, the situation becomes more complicated.

In the latter circumstances, the inheritance would need to be assessed and independently valued, so it could be divided as part of the divorce.

If the inheritance was obtained and accumulated interest or increased in value, the interest or increase in value may be subject to division.

If an inheritance tax was paid from the combined funds of the spouses, the potential exists that the inheritance may then be considered marital property.

Special exceptions may apply in some situations, and inheritances can be inherently complicated. Therefore, it is especially important to have an attorney on your side who is fluent in the language of Pennsylvania equitable distribution laws. Our firm can assess your case and the inheritance in question and pursue a resolution that is in your best interests.

Get Strong & Savvy Legal Counsel

If you are facing a high-asset, high-conflict, or complex divorce, you can turn to an accomplished team that has successfully resolved some of the most complicated cases in the state. 

Get the legal representation you need by arranging a confidential consultation with an experienced divorce lawyer at our firm today.