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McKinney child support lawyerThe fact is that most people are not able to support themselves at the age of 18. The kinds of jobs that are available to people with only a high school diploma rarely pay a living wage. Even if an 18 year old would like to be self-sufficient, almost all still rely on their parents in some ways. If you are getting divorced in Texas or collecting child support for a teenage child, you may worry about whether your spouse will continue providing support to your child if it ceases to be legally mandatory. 

The good news for parents is that support obligations do not automatically terminate on the child’s eighteenth birthday, even though they are now legally an adult. A divorced parent can be held responsible for providing reasonable financial support to their child for several years or more after they reach their majority age or longer in certain circumstances. However, support obligations may need to be incorporated into your divorce decree before it is finalized. An attorney can help you see to it that any prudent continuing support obligations are addressed during your divorce. 

When Can a Parent be Ordered to Support a Legal Adult Child? 

Courts recognize that very, very few 18 year olds are able to live completely independently. Reasons your child may be able to continue receiving financial support after they turn 18 include: 


TX divorce lawyerDivorce is difficult and tiring, usually leaving people in emotional and financial turmoil. Collaborative divorce is a great strategy to try to reduce the negative impact of divorce. While a collaborative divorce has benefits, it is not suitable for everyone. If you want to learn more about collaborative law so you can make an informed decision, consult an attorney. They will help you navigate all the advantages and drawbacks unique to your situation. 

What is Collaborative Divorce? 

Collaborative divorce is a process that allows divorcing couples to plan their divorce decree carefully and with the help of as many professionals as necessary. Rather than litigating their differences in court, couples using collaborative divorce will discuss their issues proactively and rely on the help of other people to solve their problems. This could include: 

  • Child psychologists
  • Divorce coaches
  • Financial experts 
  • Mediators 
  • Academic advisors 
  • Anyone else who can help make the transition from married life to separation smoother and more peaceful

What Are the Advantages of a Collaborative Divorce?

One main benefit of collaborative divorce is that it encourages a kinder and more stable environment for all parties. It allows you to communicate openly and clearly with your ex-partner, which is ideal if you have children. 


Do Children Testify in Child Custody Cases?

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Collin County divorce lawyerWhile many issues can cause conflict and fighting in a divorce, one of the most emotional issues is child custody. No parent wants to be separated from their child, but in most divorces, neither parent will have their child with them 100 percent of the time. In the best of circumstances, the couple will be able to negotiate a custody and parenting time agreement, however, most Texas divorce attorneys can attest that it is often the court that ends up making that decision.

How Does the Court Decide Custody?

In every child custody case, the goal of the court is to decide custody based on the best interest of the child standard. There are a number of factors that the court will examine when making this determination, including:

  • The child’s age


Collin County, TX family lawyerOne of the most devastating things that can take place in a marriage is if one spouse cheats on the other. Whether the cheating was a one-time event, a long-term affair, or a pattern of behavior, infidelity destroys the trust that the couple had for each other and crumbles the foundation of the marriage. Many marriages are unable to survive the transgression(s). The question many injured spouses have is how or will the other spouse’s cheating impact the outcome of the final divorce decree. The following is a brief overview, but for more detailed information regarding your specific circumstances, it is important to consult directly with a Collin County divorce attorney.

Does Cheating Affect the Division of Assets?

Texas is a community property state, meaning that the marital estate will be divided in a 50/50 split. Although the court cannot punish a cheating spouse by awarding them less of their share of the marital estate, there may be situations where the court can hold the spouse financially responsible if it can be shown that marital funds were used for cheating. This is legally referred to as “dissipation of marital assets.”

If the cheating spouse used marital funds to pay for gifts, trips, hotel rooms, meals, or other expenses, half of the total spent could be awarded to the injured spouse. For example, if the cheating spouse spent $10,000 of marital assets for their affair, then $5,000 would come off the top of the total amount of the marital estate and be given to the injured spouse. The balance left over would then be subject to the division of assets between the two.


McKinney Divorce LawyerSocial media has become such a major part of many people’s lives, but it can also play a significant role in divorce proceedings. In some cases, the opposition in a divorce may exploit social media platforms to gain an advantage or further their interests. If you are going through a divorce and have social media accounts, it is important to be aware of how your accounts could be used against you. To ensure you are protected, speak with a seasoned divorce attorney.

Gathering Evidence

Social media platforms provide a treasure trove of information that can be used as evidence in a divorce case. Your spouse’s legal team may scour your social media profiles to find posts, check-ins, photos, or videos that can be taken out of context or used to support their claims. For example, they may use posts showing lavish vacations or expensive purchases to argue against your financial need or claim that you are an unfit parent based on questionable behavior displayed online. This also includes any photos or videos your friends and families post that you are in.

Monitoring Activities

Social media allows the opposition to monitor your activities and interactions. They may keep a close eye on your posts, comments, and connections, looking for any information that can be used against you. For example, they may use evidence of new romantic relationships or questionable behavior to influence child custody decisions or division of assets.


McKinney Divorce LawyerIn a Texas divorce, assets and property are divided under community property laws. This means that marital property is divided equally. Generally, marital assets include assets acquired during the marriage. Non-marital assets – also referred to as separate – are usually excluded from the division and stay with the spouse that originally “owned” the asset. If you are going through a divorce, it is important to understand how courts qualify assets and property and what this may mean for your financial future. The following are some of the assets that could be deemed non-marital assets.

Assets or Property Acquired Before the Marriage

Assets acquired by either spouse before the marriage are generally considered non-marital property. For example, if one spouse owned a house or had investments prior to the marriage, those assets would likely be considered non-marital.

However, if during the marriage, the other spouse’s income contributed to the mortgage, maintenance, and other expenses for the property, then the court could decide the property is a marital asset and subject to community property division.


McKinney Alimony LawyerSpousal support, also known as alimony or spousal maintenance, is a legal arrangement where one spouse provides financial assistance to the other spouse after a divorce or separation. Years ago, it was almost guaranteed that in a divorce, the husband would be ordered to pay the wife alimony. However, that “guarantee” is no longer the case, and judges only award alimony under specific circumstances. And it is no longer just the husband who pays alimony – there are many divorces today where the wife is ordered to pay the husband.

The following are some of the common factors that judges consider when there has been a request for alimony payments.

Standard of Living

The court considers the standard of living established during the marriage. If one spouse is unable to maintain a similar standard of living after the divorce, spousal support may be awarded to help them transition and adjust financially.


What Is a Collaborative Divorce?

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McKinney Divorce LawyerNot all divorces need to be angry and contentious. A collaborative divorce is a unique approach to ending a marriage that aims to promote cooperation and open communication between the divorcing spouses. In a collaborative divorce, the parties, along with their respective attorneys, commit to resolving their issues outside of the courtroom through negotiation and problem-solving. If you are considering ending your marriage via a collaborative divorce, the following are some key points that you should be aware of.

Voluntary Participation

Collaborative divorce is a voluntary process that requires both spouses to agree to participate in good faith. They must be willing to work together to reach mutually satisfactory solutions without resorting to litigation. The cornerstone of a collaborative divorce is open and transparent communication. Both spouses and their attorneys commit to sharing all relevant information and working together honestly and respectfully.

Team Approach

Collaborative divorce often involves a team of professionals who can assist in the process. In addition to the attorneys, the team may include financial specialists, child specialists, and divorce coaches. These professionals provide expertise and guidance to help spouses address financial, emotional, and parenting matters.


McKinney Family Law AttorneyUp until the past 20 years or so, it was generally assumed that in a child custody case, the mother would likely get primary physical custody of the child and the father would have visitation. However, as societal norms have changed, so too has the attitude about fathers’ rights to custody, and the legal system is recognizing the importance of involving fathers in their children's lives post-divorce. The following are some of the reasons why these changes have taken place. If you would like to learn more about the father’s rights and child custody regarding your situation, contact The Ramage Law Group for more information.

Gender Equality

One of the key arguments supporting a father's right to custody is the principle of gender equality. It is widely acknowledged that both parents play crucial roles in a child's development and well-being. Granting equal custody rights to fathers ensures that they have the opportunity to build strong relationships with their children and be actively involved in their upbringing. This benefits not only the father but also the child, as it provides them with a sense of stability, emotional support, and access to a diverse range of parental perspectives.

Best Interest of the Child

Another crucial aspect of supporting a father's right to custody is the best interests of the child. Every state, including Texas, bases child custody decisions on the best interest of the child doctrine. The court will consider the child’s age, the relationship the child has with each parent, and the ability of each parent to provide a nurturing and stable environment for the child. This doctrine applies to both parents.


McKinney Divorce LawyerWhen a couple makes the decision to end their marriage, there are many issues that they need to address. One of the most complex of those issues is the division of assets. Part of those assets often include retirement accounts, such as 401(k)s, IRAs, and pensions. These accounts can be a significant part of a couple's financial portfolio, and they can be particularly difficult to divide because of their tax implications and complex rules. The following information is a brief overview of how retirement accounts are addressed in divorce. For more detailed information, speak with an experienced divorce attorney.

Marital Estate

Under Texas family law, retirement accounts are considered marital property if they were acquired during the marriage. This means that they are subject to division in a divorce. However, the specific rules and procedures for dividing retirement accounts can vary depending on the type of account it is. Retirement accounts are different than regular savings and checking accounts and funds cannot just be withdrawn at any time.

Because of the regulations that are associated with retirement accounts, any division of the account between the spouses is done under court order. This order is referred to as a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO).


Collin County Child Custody LawyerWhen a couple decides to end their marriage, there are many issues that need to be decided. One of the most important issues is what type of child custody arrangement will be worked out. This can also turn into one of the most contentious issues that linger long after the ink has dried on the divorce decree.

Depending on the age of the children, it is not uncommon for there to be modifications to the original order, especially if there has been any significant change in the circumstances of either parent or the child. If you are considering a custody modification, it is essential to understand the legal requirements and the factors that the court will consider when making a decision.

Reasons for Modification

Texas has very specific rules regarding when a parent can file for custody modification. Otherwise, given the acrimonious relationship many co-parents have, the Texas family court system would likely be overrun with modification petitions for issues that parents should be able to work out without the court’s intervention.


McKinney High Net Worth Divorce LawyerA person going through a divorce can end up taking quite a financial hit, even under Texas community property statutes. The state uses the community property standard – dividing assets 50/50 – when it comes to the division of assets in the marital estate. Now that you are divorcing, your financial canvas is half of what it was when you were married. This is why many people going through a divorce will consult with a divorce financial advisor.

What is a Divorce Financial Advisor?

You and your soon-to-be former spouse may have consulted with a financial advisor during your marriage, seeking out professional advice on how to get the best return on your investments.

While a divorce advisor does some of the same things, they go even further in understanding and navigating through the process of “decoupling” your assets, as well. They are well-versed in financial matters surrounding the division of assets, child support, and spousal support, as well as uncovering assets that one spouse may be hiding from the other. They will understand critical factors that need to be addressed during and after a divorce that a regular financial advisor may not be aware of.


Collin County Divorce LawyerOne of the issues that a couple must address in their divorce is how the marital estate will be divided. The marital estate is made up of the couple’s assets, property, and debt. For many couples, one of the most expensive assets they have is the marital home, and coming up with an agreement on what should be done with the home can be difficult, especially if both spouses want the house.

Unless the couple agrees to sell the home and divide the profit, and regardless of which spouse ends up with the home, the issue of refinancing the mortgage will also need to be addressed.

Protecting Credit Scores

When one spouse is awarded the house in a divorce, the court order only addresses the property. It does not address the mortgage. In other words, even though the spouses sign a quit claim deed and only one of them will now legally own the home, both spouses' names will still remain on the mortgage. The only way to remove the now non-owner spouse is to refinance the mortgage in just the owner spouse’s name. Until this is done, the other spouse will be just as liable for the monthly mortgage payments.


Creating a Divorce Checklist

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McKinney Divorce LawyerDivorce can and often does have a substantial impact on a person’s life. There are so many changes that take place both during the divorce process and also once it is complete. It is also not uncommon for the couple to go into an adversarial mode with each other, even if they both agree that divorce is the best decision for their family.

The decision to divorce by either one or both spouses typically does not happen overnight. There is usually a period of time leading up to that decision where the couple struggles with difficulties in the marriage and may even question whether they should stay together. If you are struggling with that decision or suspect your spouse is, it is important to take the necessary steps to prepare for the day that one of you files that divorce petition in order to protect your marital and parental rights. The following is a suggested “divorce checklist” to make sure you have covered all bases.

Get Copies of All Financial Documents

Once a divorce petition has been filed, it is common for important financial documents for the couple’s assets to just “disappear.” This is why you should take copies of all these documents before anyone files. This includes current statements from all financial accounts you and your spouse have, including retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, property deeds, vehicle titles, income taxes, paystubs, and any other relevant documents.


Collin County Child Custody LawyerOne of the topics divorcing couples most frequently disagree about is that of child custody. The stakes can feel very high and, because people often get divorced due to  differences in parenting strategies, coming to an agreement about how to manage the children’s schedules can be very difficult. 

This is especially true when a divorce involves a parent who wants to relocate with a child. However, this complex situation can also occur after divorce as well, often leaving both parents wondering what their options are. If this situation sounds familiar to you, read on for an overview of how relocation with a minor child may be permissible for a parent sharing custody, and then contact a Texas child custody lawyer for help with your case. 

Shared Custody and Child Relocation

If parents are getting divorced and one parent wants to move away with a child, that needs to be part of the divorce agreement, which will be approved by a judge. Sometimes, a judge will not approve the separation of a child from his or her other parent, and the parent who wishes to move away will either have to do so without the child or adjust plans. 


Collin County Family Law AttorneyThere is good news for advocates of family stability - not only are divorce rates falling, especially among younger age groups, but couples who do divorce are acting more carefully about how they choose to go about the divorce process. One option that has gained popularity in recent years is known as “collaborative divorce,” and it is particularly helpful to those who are concerned about avoiding unnecessary conflict throughout the divorce process. If you have children under age 18 or are simply looking for a peaceful resolution to the end of your marriage, collaborative divorce could be the right choice for you. 

What is Collaborative Divorce? 

Divorce has traditionally been a combative experience, and no wonder; many of the elements of divorce can feel zero-sum to both parties. After all, time a child spends living with one parent is time she does not spend in the other parent’s home. However, collaborative divorce still recognizes some of the inherent conflicts of interest while still respecting the effort to minimize hostility and protect minor children. 

Collaborative divorce involves both parents having a team of experts who guide them cooperatively through the divorce. This includes attorneys, as well as anyone else the parents feel could contribute: financial professionals, child psychologists, divorce coaches, and more. If, for whatever reason, the collaborative process is not successful, the entire team dissolves and each party’s attorney cannot go on to represent them in court litigation. 


Collin County Child Custody LawyerParents frequently disagree about how to resolve matters related to child custody in a divorce, but sometimes these conflicts can become extreme. This is especially true when there are allegations of abuse or neglect from one or both parties. Getting to the truth can be difficult, and judges may be unsure of the best outcome for a particular case. When this happens, a common solution is for a judge to appoint a professional known as a “child custody evaluator” to a particular case. If you are involved in a court dispute over your minor children, whether during or after divorce, and a custody evaluator has been assigned to your case, it is important to understand the role of this professional and how you should behave to optimize your case’s outcome. 

What is a Custody Evaluator? 

A custody evaluator is a mental health professional who is also sometimes an attorney. Her job is to gather as much information as possible about a particular case. In order to get the information she needs, she can do the following: 

  • Complete psychological evaluations of both parents, their romantic partners (if applicable), and all children 


Collin County Divorce AttorneyEnterprising spouses often start up businesses together, finding interesting and unique ways to bring extra money into their family coffer. Sometimes this looks like a formal business establishment, and other times it might be gradually buying up real estate to rent out on platforms like AirBNB. Whatever the format, when it comes time to divorce, a couple’s business needs to be divided just like any other marital asset

Dividing a business can be very difficult, however, as spouses often disagree about how much of the business is marital vs. personal property or what the true value of the business is. In cases like this, make sure you have the help of an experienced business owners’ divorce attorney who can assist you in resolving these tricky issues. 

Can One of the Spouses Keep the Business in a Divorce? 

Texas law requires community property to be divided in a “just and right” manner, which usually means something close to 50/50. If one of the spouses owned the business before getting married and did not protect that business with a prenuptial agreement, it can be very difficult to determine how much of that business is community property rather than the personal property of the spouse who originally owned the business. 


Collin County Family Law AttorneyChild support might be determined by a state formula, but that does not stop it from becoming a high-conflict part of a divorced or separated couple’s relationship. The parent paying child support often feels angry and taken advantage of, while the parent receiving child support often feels as though the amount is insufficient to properly care for the child’s needs. Whatever the reason for dissatisfaction, the end result is sometimes that the parent paying for child support will try to hide income to avoid paying the full support payments he or she would otherwise be obligated to make. If you think this is happening in your case, it is important to contact a Texas child support attorney who can help you secure the support you need. 

Child Support Income Guidelines in Texas

Before a court can set child support payments, the judge needs to know how much money the paying parent makes and whether the child’s needs justify deviating from state child support guidelines (the paying parent is the parent who does not have primary possession of the child, meaning the child spends most of his or her time with the other parent). 

Texas child support guidelines use a parent’s annual income (rather than a monthly income) divided by 12 and reduced by standard expenses like taxes or health insurance payments for the child. When calculating income, the court will include all sources of money, including, but not limited to: 


Collin County Divorce AttorneyTexas law requires couples who are getting divorced to divide their assets and debt. Usually, though not always, Texas - which is a community property state - divides assets equally between spouses. However, spouses who are afraid of getting shortchanged in their divorce or who are willing to take advantage of their spouse may be willing to hide assets to tip the asset division process unfairly in their favor. If you are getting divorced and are worried that your spouse may try to hide assets, make sure you have an experienced Texas divorce attorney. 

How Will I Know if My Spouse is Hiding Assets? 

Often, spouses will divide and conquer chores and responsibilities within a marriage. This often leaves one spouse in charge of managing a family’s financial affairs. If your spouse has been responsible for paying bills, tracking your bank account balances, and managing your retirement accounts, you may not have a full picture of your financial affairs, which could make it easier for your spouse to deceive you during the asset division process. 

While it is never possible to fully anticipate whether a spouse will try to hide assets, pay attention to your spouse’s behavior and see if your gut tells you things are not adding up. If you thought he or she made a certain amount of money, but their financial affidavit states otherwise, follow up. If a bank account balance seems low, find out why. 

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