Maria P. Cognetti Esq.
Maria P. Cognetti Esq.
Accomplished Harrisburg Family Law and Divorce Attorney Maria Cognetti
Cumberland County family law and divorce attorney Maria Cognetti is committed to getting the best possible results for her clients. A seasoned family lawyer and founder of Cognetti Law Group in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, she offers clients the benefit of her decades of experience, tenacity, thorough preparation, and passion for justice in all family law matters, including:
- complex or high asset divorce that involves executives, business owners, finding hidden assets and considering the impact of tax,
- property division (including business valuation, dividing high-value personal property, inheritance, stock options, and other executive benefits),
- spousal support and alimony,
- child support
- complex child custody and visitation including relocation of the children and modification of custody orders
- prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements
Maria excels in preparing, defending, and challenging prenuptial agreements for high asset individuals. Having handled so many divorces for high asset individuals, she knows first-hand the consequences of the absence of prenups and the pitfalls of poorly crafted ones. She helps ensure her clients’ assets are protected by putting in place valid and comprehensive prenuptial agreements before they get married or remarried again.
Maria Cognetti: A Winning Combination of Ethics and Family Law Expertise
Respected family lawyer Maria Cognetti is known for her expertise, integrity, and her ethics.
A senior hearing committee member on the Pennsylvania disciplinary board, ethics are Maria’s guiding light. “There are work ethics and there are legal ethics,” Maria explains. “How do you hold yourself out? How honest are you? How’s your integrity? We score a 10 out of 10 on both.” Maria has designed a company culture that calls for attorneys and staff to walk to the right of the ethics line.
A Family Lawyer Who Excels at Resolving Complex High Asset Divorce Cases
Maria Cognetti and her team at Cognetti Law Group in Cumberland County have a well-deserved reputation for being able to create the best possible outcomes to divorce cases involving complex financial and unique business issues.
Highly compensated executives, business owners, and those with professional practices frequently call upon Maria to protect their assets and income during high net worth divorce cases.
Maria Cognetti’s “secret” is that she and her team thoroughly prepare for each case, finding innovative solutions to difficult problems and ensuring that no detail is overlooked. “I put 110% into every case,” she says. “If I can’t do that, I won’t take the case.”
“Karen Sheriff, my paralegal of 28 years, is exceptional when it comes to finding some little piece of minutiae that will save our client tens of thousands of dollars,” says Maria. “I have no hesitation in saying that she is clearly the best paralegal in the state.”
Maria Cognetti: An Experienced Negotiator and Outstanding Litigator
A Diplomate of the American College of Family Trial Lawyers (ACFTL) since 2012, Maria is sought after for her litigation skills and trial experience. The ACFTL is a select group of 100 of the top family law trial lawyers in the United States; fellowship in this elite group is only extended to family lawyers who are regarded as the best trial lawyers in their state.
Despite her well-earned reputation as a top trial lawyer, Maria is a highly-skilled negotiator who often settles cases without going to court. However, if the other side is being unreasonable and refuses to accept a good settlement, Maria is prepared to advocate for her clients in court. As an outstanding family law litigator who is committed to excellence, she will step into the courtroom ready to protect her client’s rights. You will benefit from her 40+ years of family law experience and her well-prepared team.
Maria is also acknowledged as one of the top negotiators in Pennsylvania family law. In fact, at least 90% of Maria’s cases settle out of court. She knows that her clients are always much happier – and that they’ll save the time and expense of a trial – if she can negotiate an out-of-court settlement for them.
Maria’s skills as a top negotiator and certified mediator are crucial to her ability to resolve cases out of court because high asset or high-income cases are high-conflict by nature. After all, when millions of dollars are at stake, most people become fairly aggressive about wanting to “keep what’s theirs” or “get what they deserve.”
Acknowledged by Her Peers as an Outstanding Family Lawyer
Maria Cognetti has received countless accolades and honors as an outstanding family law attorney. In 2011, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML) honored her with their “Fellow of the Year” award. Also in 2011, the Pennsylvania Bar Association gave Maria a Special Achievement Award for her work on Pennsylvania’s Child Custody Act.
She has also received a Presidential Service Award from the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (AFCC), which has rarely given such an award to a professional who is not working in the mental health arena. The AFCC’s Award was in recognition of her work co-creating a national conference on complex custody issues. Offered every two years by the AAML and the AFCC, it is now one of the premier custody conferences in the country. From 2007 to 2019, she coordinated the lawyers’ side of the conference.
Maria Cognetti is a Fellow and a past-president of the AAML. The ACFTL selected her as one of the best trial lawyers in America – an honor only bestowed upon “experienced family law trial lawyers who have mastered the art of advocacy and whose professional careers exemplify the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, civility, and collegiality.”
She is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Registry of Preeminent Lawyers. She holds an “AV Preeminent” (5.0 out of 5.0) rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and she has been a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer every year since 2005.
Maria is also frequently called upon to teach courses and seminars to other family lawyers for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and other organizations offering Continuing Legal Education.
Appreciated by Her Clients for Her Service and Skills
Here’s what one satisfied client had to say about Harrisburg family lawyer Maria Cognetti:
“Attorney Cognetti’s stellar reputation precedes her, and deservedly so. 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.”
To read more, visit Maria Cognetti’s Testimonials page.
Maria Cognetti’s Mentors and Influences to Be the Best She Can Be
Straight out of law school in 1978, Maria Cognetti immediately landed jobs with two solo practitioners in Pittsburgh who threw her into their family law work – and into the courtroom. As a neophyte to the practice of law, and afraid of embarrassing herself in court, Maria always over-prepared for each case. This is a habit she maintains to this day: she and her team prepare as though each case is going to trial. When the other side sees how thorough she is, cases tend to settle out of court, saving them time and financial expense of a trial.
Early in her career, Maria found a mentor in respected family court judge Larry Kaplan. “From day one, Judge Kaplan took me under his wing,” she remembers. “I had the most awesome judicial mentor you could ever hope to have.”
From the day she graduated from law school, she has exclusively practiced family law. “I developed a genuine love and passion for family law,” she says. ”Today, I could not imagine doing anything else.”
Maria cites her parents as her greatest influence and source of inspiration. The children of immigrants, her parents ended up living the American Dream: achieving prosperity for their family and children. Her father left school in the eighth grade and worked very hard to build a successful career and company. His work ethic inspired Maria and her brother to give 110% to their careers: Maria is one of Pennsylvania’s premier family lawyers, and her brother is a lawyer and judge in New York.
Click here for Maria Cognetti’s complete CV.
Facing Complex, High Asset Divorce in Pennsylvania? You Need an Experienced Family Lawyer by Your Side
If you are facing a financially-complex divorce, you need the best advice from a top-notch family law attorney. Using her 40+ years of experience, her in-depth knowledge of family law, and her commitment to the highest levels of both integrity and client service, Maria Cognetti works hard to negotiate equitable settlements out of court – but she is more than prepared to protect her clients’ rights in court if necessary.
Maria Cognetti was born in Manhattan, not far from Ground Zero. She is highly active in her personal life. She and her family are all die-hard NY Yankees fans and she played on the Yankees’ fantasy baseball team for five years in Tampa FL. Maria has always loved horses. Growing up, she competed at hunter/jumper shows, and she and her horse were well-known in the tri-state area show circuit. She enjoys the beach, playing golf, riding her bike, and kayaking, no matter how cold it is! Most of all, Maria loves spending time with her family. She has 26 first cousins and she gets together with her 100+ members of her family several times a year.
Cognetti Law Group’s offices are located in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania. Maria Cognetti serves clients from Franklin County to Centre County, from Bedford County to Lebanon County in Central Pennsylvania.