Complex Property Division

Complex Property Division Attorneys in Harrisburg

Division of Investment Portfolios in Divorce

The potential profitability of any investment depends in large part on when and under what circumstances you sell it. The value of securities, real estate and other assets tends to be cyclical — and also subject to diminution by fees, taxes, and penalties. To maximize your earnings, timing is everything. Selling off key assets should not depend on the timing of your divorce.

Protect Your Investment Assets Even as You Divide and Distribute Them

The process of dividing substantial or complex assets for equitable distribution in divorce can be challenging. Both parties seek to protect the current and future value of the assets, but that cannot be accomplished by simply selling everything at once and divvying up the proceeds. At Cognetti Law Group, we have substantial experience helping high net worth clients achieve divorce settlements that accurately categorize and value marital property and allow that property to be sold off at the opportune moment to maximize gains. Led by veteran attorney Maria Cognetti, we can provide knowledgeable legal direction and access to the financial expertise required to equitably divide assets of any type, such as:

  • Family-owned businesses and professional practices
  • Second homes, vacation homes, and investment real estate
  • Retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, 403(b)s and IRAs
  • Pensions, annuities and insurance benefits
  • Stocks, stock options, mutual funds, and equities
  • Bonds, bond funds and money market instruments
  • Foreign currency and international investments
  • Loans
  • Intellectual property assets

In Pennsylvania, investments made during the course of the marriage are presumed to be marital property. However, you and your spouse may have owned investment assets before the marriage. In such cases, the absence of an enforceable pre- or postnuptial agreement, Pennsylvania courts presume that any increase in the assets’ value that occurred during the marriage is marital property that must be divided. The first step is to catalog all of your assets, regardless of whether you believe they are individually owned. Your divorce lawyer will evaluate your overall portfolio and assess what is clearly a nonmarital asset, what is clearly a marital asset, and where there are questions to be resolved. 

Next, Cognetti Law Group will obtain an expert valuation of each asset to be divided. We maintain strong working relationships with well-respected Certified Public Accountant (CPA) firms and accountants so you will feel confident in the result. During the process of dividing the assets, we will advise and represent you as we negotiate for the property settlement that best meets your needs and those of your family. This may include trading certain assets for others of an equivalent value, which can minimize the number of assets that must be sold. It may also involve making specific arrangements for the management of the investments until the division is final, including how and when individual assets should be sold. Skillful negotiation of these details is crucial to avoiding undue taxation, penalties, and costly fees. Our legal team has more than 46 years of experience handling the complicated financial considerations that arise in divorce and family law matters.

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.

Sophisticated Advocacy in Marital Asset Division

To arrange an initial consultation to discuss how to protect the profitability of your investments until divorce distribution, contact Cognetti Law Group today at 717-909-4060 or using our online form. Our offices are located in Camp Hill near Harrisburg, and we represent clients across Pennsylvania.

Dividing Retirement Accounts Fairly

At Cognetti Law Group, located near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, we provide skilled representation to individuals facing complex equitable distribution issues that may arise during a divorce. One of the most common assets to be equitably divided in a divorce is the pool of retirement benefits. The division of pensions and retirement benefits may be complicated and requires the guidance of legal representation that is skilled in valuation and equipped to protect your interests. We work to determine how the assets are valued when they are valued, and what their present and future distribution will look like.

How Do Retirement Benefits Fit With Your Overall Property Division?

Retirement benefits that are earned during the course of the marriage are considered marital property and are included in the division of assets during the divorce. We handle the division of all retirement and advanced savings vehicles, including pensions, IRAs, 401(k)s, and 403(b)s. A retirement account can be divided between the two spouses. In an equitable split, however, arrangements can be made for one spouse to keep the account in its entirety, granting the other spouse assets equal to what he or she would have been awarded if the account was split. This is where issues of valuation become especially important. It must be determined how much the account is worth, both currently and in the future.


Working With Financial Professionals to Craft an Effective Solution for You

If it is determined that the spouses will split the account, our lawyers will work with an expert to prepare and file a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) so that retirement funds can be transferred without a tax penalty being assessed. Led by veteran attorneys Cognetti Law Group Maria Cognetti and Dave Schanbacher, our legal team is adept at handling this complicated procedure. To arrange an initial consultation with an experienced attorney to discuss your retirement benefits and divorce, please call our law firm today at 717-909-4060. Or, if you prefer, complete our online form. Based in the Harrisburg area, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania.

The Harrisburg family law attorneys of Cognetti Law Group serve clients in Harrisburg, Dauphin County, and throughout Pennsylvania. We are committed to providing clients experienced and individualized family law representation.