Mary Cushing Doherty is a family law attorney and senior partner at High Swartz who concentrates her practice on all aspects of marital dissolution and family issues. An experienced and certified Arbitrator and Mediator, Ms. Doherty strives for the amicable resolution of divorce when possible; however, she is a zealous litigator when it serves the best interests of her clients.
Some of Mary’s noteworthy accomplishments include:
- Specializes in finding the optimal monetary settlement for complex marital cases working alongside financial experts and forensic accountants for both high income individuals and dependent spouses
- Regularly appointed to arbitrate complicated matters providing through financial analysis resulting in monetary awards that most often cannot be achieved in court
- Drafts comprehensive and protective prenuptial agreements and marital settlement agreements by anticipating the problems that clients can’t or haven’t envisioned
- Drafts “romantic” prenuptial agreements that are designed to foster a long healthy marriage based on communication and shared values
Beginning her career in Philadelphia, she served as chair of the Family Law Section in 1985 and its representative on the Judicial Selection Commission. She was a co-chair of the Montgomery County Family Law Committee in 1994 and chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Family Law Section in 1999-2000.
Mary has rightfully been honored over the years for her unparalleled community work and dedication to marital and family law. She has consistently been ranked as a Super Lawyer, Top Lawyer in America®, Top Attorney in Suburban Life Magazine and an honoree in both the Montgomery and Pennsylvania Bar Association. In 2012, she was a Legal Intelligencer Women of the Year recipient and PBA Lynette Norton Award honoree. In 2018, Mary was awarded the prestigious honor of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year for the Philadelphia area.
Ms. Doherty has been a Course Planner and Lecturer for The PBI, (and served on its board for 7 years), the PBA and MBA Family Law Section, and a Lecturer for the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML). She has been a spokesperson for legislative reform for the Pennsylvania Bar Association and has been honored by the PBA for acting as its spokesperson for reform of the custody statute and the Divorce Code to ease lengths of a no-fault divorce. She chaired the Supreme Court Committee on certification of organizations that qualify lawyers as experts. She served on the Pennsylvania Domestic Violence Task Force and she continues to participate on the PA Joint State Legislative Committee on Family Law.
Outside the Office
Mary's civic and community activities are varied and numerous. She chairs the Eastern PA Advocacy Committee for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and has served in this committee and the BucksMont Light the Night Executive Committee.
Mary served as President of the AAML Pennsylvania Chapter from 2006 to 2007. Thereafter she served as Chapter Leader Coordinator from 2010 to 2013 and now co-chairs the AAML Legislation Committee.
She is active in her church, St. Catherine of Sienna in Horsham as a Pre-Cana counselor and lector. She also organizes the Holy Innocents memorial every Christmas in memory of infants children who have died, and I’m a supporter of the St. Vincent DePaul Society. is an adjunct instructor in Child Development to the youth at Upper Dublin High School. Mary currently serves as a Philadelphia VIP mentor, teacher and coach for pro se litigants.
Get to Know Family Law Attorney Mary Cushing Doherty
Affiliations & Honors
- Women of Accomplishment, Women's Yellow Pages, 24th & 25th Editions
- Professionals For Amicable Divorce, Member
- Joint State Government Commission of Pennsylvania, Member of Advisory Committee on Domestic Relations Law, 1995 - present; Chair of Alimony Sub-Committee; Member of Advisory Committee on Assisted Reproduction Technologies
- American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers – Pennsylvania Chapter, Fellow, since 1986; President of Pennsylvania Chapter, 2006 - 2007; AAML Chapter Leader Coordinator, 2007-2014
- Doris Jonas Freed Inn of Court, Member of the Bench since 1995; 2008 & 2016 Recipient of the Frederick Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching
- Pennsylvania Bar Association, Family Law Section Chair, 1999 to 2000; Officer, 1995 to 2001; Council Member, 1990 to 1994; Ex Officio Council Member, 2002-present; Section Member since 1979; Member of the Commission on Women in the Profession, since 1997; PBA Commission on Women in the Profession, Executive Council; Review and Certifying Board Chair
- Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Board of Directors, 1992 to 1998; Award of Professional Excellence in Programming, Association for ContinuingLegal Education, for Drafting Marital Settlement Agreements Course, 1997
- Philadelphia Bar Association, Family Law Section Chair, 1985; Member Since 1979Family Law Delegate to Board of Governors, 1986; Member of Judicial Selection Commission, 1985
- American Bar Association, Family Law Section, Member, 1979 - 1987 & 1992 - present
- American Bar Foundation, Fellow, since 1995
- Attorney General Family Violence Task Force, Member of Law Enforcement and the Judiciary Group, Designee for Pennsylvania Bar, 1998-1999
- Supreme Court Committee on Racial and Gender Bias in the Justice System, Chair of the Gender Bias in Family Court Subcommittee Work Group and coeditor of Gender and Racial Bias in Family Court portion of the report, 2000 to 2003
- AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell® since 1991
- Top Lawyers Around the Main Line and Western Suburbs - 2019, 2021
- The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Woman of the Year, 2018
- Pennsylvania Bar Association, Special Achievement Award, 2017
- PBA Women in Profession Lynette Norton Award, 2012
- Legal Intelligencer, Women of the Year Recipient, 2012
- Woman of Distinction Recipient, Philadelphia Business Journal, 2009
- Recipient of the Frederick Cohen Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2008
- Margaret Richardson Award Honoree, 2006
- Upper Dublin School Board Recognition for 20 years as an adjunct instructor
- Super Lawyers, Top-rated Family Law Attorney in Norristown, PA, 2004-Present
- Best Lawyers in America® (Philadelphia-Family Law), 1995-Present
- Top Attorneys, Suburban Life Magazine, 2011, 2017, 2018
- Top Lawyer, Main Line Today - 2017-present
- UNITE, Inc., Chair of the Board, 1988 - 2007; member since 1982
- St. Catherine of Siena Catholic Church, Horsham, Pre-Cana counselor, 1982-2011
- Upper Dublin High School, adjunct instructor, Child Development II, since 1995
- Pennsylvania, 1978
- Villanova University School of Law, J.D., 1978
- University of Delaware, B.A., 1975
Mary Cushing Doherty's Family Law Insights
Can Catholics Get a Prenuptial Agreement?
A prenuptial agreement is commonly viewed as planning for divorce before a marriage even begins in the Catholic Church. The mere mention of the word “prenup” can incite a gasp and an inquisitive raise of the eyebrow. But prenuptial agreements are not necessarily executed with an eye to an exit plan, but rather a marriage […]
How Might the Pandemic and The CARES Act Impact a Divorcing Couple’s Business?
Beware: the CARES Act may distort business cash flows from 2020. Almost every business faced an unusual year in 2020. When the pandemic hit, work slowed dramatically then came the whiplash effect. In particular the sweeping Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act provided short term help for many businesses. While the hospitality and […]
- Is it worth getting Short-Term Limited Duration Health Insurance during the Pandemic?
- Should Divorcing Couples File Jointly or Separately in PA?
- Changes to PA Spousal Support Guidelines for Dependent Spouses
- Mary Cushing Doherty's Observation About PA House Bill 1397
- If you have children and you are getting married, you need a premarital agreement. Why not make it Romantic?
- Romantic Premarital Agreements: Solving the Planning Issues Without “The D Word”
- Reducing No-Fault Divorce Separation to One Year: The Significant Impact on Divorcing Couples with Business Interests
- Oh No, A Surprise Snow Day!!
"I am very happy to leave a 5 star review for Mary Cushing Doherty and her team. They recently helped me arbitrate a complicated, high value divorce. I felt Mary represented me in excellence while keeping an inherently adversarial process as civil as possible. I frequently use attorneys and consultants in my business and I give Mary my highest recommendation."
Adela B. - London UK
"Simply the best. Professional, human, knowledgeable, kind, serious without ever losing a sense of humour. Made this Brit feel very welcomed and supported. I trusted their professional judgement and was right to do so. High Swartz delivered. Highly recommended."
"I could not have asked for better legal counsel for my divorce! Mary Cushing Doherty was powerful and incredibly effective at a time when I needed an ally, an advocate and someone to give me clear guidance on the best course of action for my divorce. Her command of the facts was impressive and reassuring. I always appreciated her prompt acknowledgment of my emails and am ever-grateful for her advocacy through a complex, highly-charged, litigious divorce. Mary was poised and eloquent in the courtroom, made reasonable concessions when it was warranted and was patient and encouraging with me when things were overwhelming. I have the utmost respect for Mary and cannot adequately express my gratitude that she was by my side through one of the most challenging times in my life."