About Me

Professional Experience:

Law Office of Toni Lee Cavanagh, 8/03 – present
General practice of law including business, contracts, family, estate planning/probate, equine, personal injury, real estate, tax

Delaware County Public Defender’s Office, 4/04 – 1/22
Assistant Public Defender, Criminal Defense

Federal Judicial Clerk to Judge R. Barclay Surrick, 12/02 – 8/03
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Jackson Cavanagh, P.C. – shareholder, 7/96 – 11/02
General practice of law including business, criminal, domestic, estate planning/probate, equine, personal injury, real estate, tax, zoning/municipal

Delaware County District Attorney’s Office, 5/95 – 7/96
Prosecutorial Intern, Preliminary Hearing/Summary Appeals Division

Bar Admissions:

Pennsylvania, 5/96
New Jersey, 6/96
Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, New Jersey Supreme Court, United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, United States Tax Court, United States Court of Federal Claims

Temple University School of Law, LL.M. Taxation, 5/01
Widener University School of Law, J.D., 12/95
Temple University, B.A. Communications, 12/91
Episcopal Academy, Diploma, 6/87

Frequently Asked Questions


How should I prepare for my meeting with the lawyer?

Take notes during the phone consultation, if any, to remember to bring documents the attorney has asked to see for the first meeting.

Will my lawyer handle everything, or should I help?

Generally, your attorney will handle everything but there may be times where you can be of assistance to save on fees.

How does a lawyer set the fees I'm charged?

Depending on the type of case and work involved, work is usually billed either at an hourly rate or flat rate in accordance with an attorney’s experience or level of expertise.

What is a divorce vs. a legal separation?

A divorce is a legal dissolution of marriage while a legal separation involves remaining married but agreeing to live separate and apart from your spouse. In each type of situation there may be certain agreements made regarding property division as well as support of spouse and children.

Do I need to hire an attorney?

We recommend always hiring an attorney to assist with your legal needs.

What is a uncontested divorce?

An uncontested divorce is one in which the parties agree that they want to be divorced from each other – it does not mean that the parties agree on anything else such as property division, custody or support.

What are the grounds for divorce?

Grounds for divorce can be fault or no-fault. In Pennsylvania, no-fault grounds for divorce include irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or a two-year separation of the parties. Fault grounds vary and include but are not limited to situations involving abandonment, intolerable living conditions, incarceration and adultery.

What's the difference between legal & physical child custody?

Legal custody of a child involves the right to make a child’s major life decisions such as education, medical care and religion.

Physical custody involves the actual physical location of the child and with whom the child will be living at any given time.