Handling Complex Divorce and High-Asset Cases Effectively
Although some divorces can be amicable, quick, and uncomplicated, there are certain high-conflict, or high net worth, cases that require greater expertise, specialized attention, and capable representation to protect the clients’ 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 the financial interests of clients who have significant assets. We understand that certain aspects of divorce can be extremely complex, and we help clients with high-conflict or high net worth cases work through those complex issues. Based in the Harrisburg area, our lawyers serve clients in high-conflict and high-asset cases throughout Pennsylvania.
What Is at Stake in This Divorce?
We are equipped to handle all complexities of divorce and property division, including:
- Business valuations
- Stock options
- Forensic accounting
- Cash flow analyses
- Qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs)
- Retrospective real estate appraisals
- Vocational analyses
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.
Get the Skilled Professionals You Need
Dealing with these assets requires highly skilled and knowledgeable legal direction, as well as the involvement of financial experts. Cognetti Law Group has the background and record of success to handle these divorces. Led by veteran attorneys Maria Cognetti and Dave Schanbacher, we work closely with the top accountants, business evaluators, actuaries and appraisers in Pennsylvania and across the country. In utilizing these experts, we are able to quickly and effectively resolve cases. Opposing representation respects our thorough preparation and ability to win for our clients in court, which often results in a speedy and advantageous settlement. To arrange an initial consultation to discuss your family law circumstances and learn how an attorney handling property division can help, please contact us online or call our law firm today at 717-909-4060.
Dividing Personal Property in High-Asset Divorces
In Pennsylvania divorces, all property and assets are divided according to the law of equitable distribution. This means that while possessions and accounts are divided equally and fairly, they are not necessarily distributed to each party in a 50-50 fashion. Equitable distribution applies to all property and assets, regardless of their value. However, it is important that all the effects are properly valued to ensure they are divided accordingly. This can be difficult when the personal property is of a high net worth nature.
Partnering With Clients to Protect What Is Theirs
Our legal team at Cognetti Law Group in Camp Hill 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 property that are often the subject of division include:
- Cars, motorcycles and other vehicles
- Recreational vehicles, such as four-wheelers and golf carts
- 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 a separate and marital personal tangible property is determined, we can have experts appraise the possessions and determine their 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 tangible property to be retained or why it should not be handed over to the spouse.
If you have questions or concerns about the high-value property, how it is appraised and divided, and how it may be handled in your specific situation, contact our office online today or call us at 717-909-4060.
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. For individuals going through this experience, there are many factors to 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 years. 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 a later-in-life divorce. Based in the Harrisburg area, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania.
What Must Be Decided?
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 someone has 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 — Someone who became a parent 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 by 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. Inappropriate cases, there may also be a need for long-term or indefinite alimony. We advocate for our clients’ positions effectively in making appropriate determinations.
No matter what the specific issues are, clients of our firm can be confident knowing that an experienced legal team led by veteran attorneys Maria Cognetti and Dave Schanbacher is on your side. Ms. Cognetti is a recognized leader in the Pennsylvania legal community on high-asset and high-conflict divorce issues. She uses her knowledge of complicated financial questions to resolve cases in ways that advance her clients’ long-term goals.
Get Strong and Savvy Legal Counsel
Inheritances: Separate or Marital Property?
Pennsylvania law establishes that any assets or property acquired before a marriage is considered separate property for the purposes of division. Likewise, any property and assets acquired during a marriage are considered marital property and are subject to division in a divorce. However, inheritances are handled differently.
When you are facing a divorce that involves the potential division of an inheritance, turn to our experienced lawyers at Cognetti Law Group. With more than 100 years of combined experience, we have a vast knowledge of the laws that govern property division and how complex issues are best handled.
If the inheritance, whether it is monetary or property, is in one spouse’s name alone, then 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.
- 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 combined funds of the spouses, there is the potential that the inheritance may then be considered marital property.
There are situations in which special exceptions may apply, 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 the equitable distribution laws in Pennsylvania. Our firm can assess your case and the inheritance in question, and pursue a resolution that is in your best interests.