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Recent Blog Posts

Divorce And Your Home. Why Not To List Your House Until You Have Met With A Divorce Attorney.

 Posted on March 01, 2019 in Divorce

Spring is on its way! Most of us get restless in the Spring. We think of projects we have put off. We clean out closets and the garage. Spring cleaning consumes some of us. What if your Spring includes a planned divorce or move? There are some things you should consider before making decisions about what to do with the house, typically the most valuable marital asset.

Perhaps you are planning to divorce and are on friendly terms with your soon-to-be former spouse. Perhaps you are thinking that you will place the house on the market before you hire an attorney and go ahead and split the proceeds 50-50. At first blush this may make sense. After all, Spring seems to be the right time to sell a house in the Frisco, Allen and McKinney areas. But, be careful. This may or may or may not make the most sense for you in your divorce.

The first question you should ask is when was the residence purchased? If it was before the marriage, it will be the separate property of the spouse who purchased it, even if there has been a refinance after the marriage. There may be reimbursement claims to the community estate for improvements made to the separate property during the marriage. If the house was purchased during the marriage, and it makes sense to sell the property, there may be a reason not to divide the proceeds equally. The law in the State of Texas does not presume or require a 50-50 division upon divorce. Rather, it must be equitable. An equitable division takes into consideration many other factors, such as the nature of all the assets to be divided. Each asset does not necessarily get divided. Rather, it is the entire value of the estate that is divided.

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What to Look For If You Suspect Your Spouse Is Hiding Money

 Posted on March 01, 2019 in High Conflict Family Law

If you’re involved in a high-conflict divorce, there is a fair chance your ex will try to conceal income or assets in order to reduce their obligations.

If you suspect this could be happening, discuss your concerns with your divorce attorney. They can review your finances for evidence of suspicious activity and bring in a financial expert, such as a forensic accountant, if necessary.

What should you look for if you suspect hidden money?

It may be common for one spouse to handle the finances, but an acrimonious divorce is not the time to be in the dark. If you are unfamiliar with your financial picture, familiarize yourself now. Get copies of a few years’ worth of tax returns and their underlying documents. If you don’t understand them, get help from your divorce attorney or another appropriate professional.

You should see all of your income and your spouse's income — including tip income — listed appropriately on your income tax return.

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What Are The Consequences of Lying in a Child Custody Hearing?

 Posted on March 01, 2019 in Child Custody

Especially in a high-conflict divorce, it sometimes seems necessary to do whatever it takes to get conservatorship (custody) of your kids. That might include exaggerating the frequency of your caregiving, for example, to present a more favorable picture to the court. It could also involve making false statements about the other parent's caregiving — or even fabricating abuse or neglect allegations.

Don’t do it. There is a very good chance you will be caught, and doing it could bring about just the consequences you most fear — less parenting time for you and more for your ex.

In Texas, child custody is called “conservatorship,” and the order dividing time between the parents is called a standard possession order. What other states call “visitation,” Texas calls “possession and access to a child.” In the large majority of cases, both parents get some time in possession of the child. They may also receive joint managing conservatorship, which essentially means sharing the authority to make significant decisions about the child's life.

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Feeling The Need To Change Your Custody Agreement Now That Spring Break Has Passed? Now Is The Time With Summer Fast Approaching!

 Posted on March 01, 2019 in Child Custody

Spring and Summer give parents time to reconnect and bond with their children, especially after divorce. If you share custody of your children, chances are you need to begin planning for your summer possession periods. At The Ramage Law Group, we have an office in Frisco and McKinney, Texas staffed with child custody attorneys working with several clients on this very matter due to a lack of shared time over the recent holiday. Maybe it is time for you to also review your current order and fight for more time?

Where to Start?

The first place to start is your most recent custody order, whether it is your divorce decree or an order modifying your divorce decree. First, weekend possession continues during the summer, except when each parent is enjoying extended visitation with the children. If you have a Texas Standard Possession Order and are the non-custodial parent, you will need to give notice to the other parent of a thirty-day period in which you plan to exercise summer possession of your children. If you fail to give notice, your summer possession period defaults to the month of July. The custodial parent may then take a weekend from your extended summer visitation period by notifying you on or before April 15 of his desired weekend. Additionally, the custodial parent may also designate a weekend that is outside of your summer visitation during which you may not exercise visitation, so long as it does not interfere with Father's Day weekend of a party's designated summer possession.

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5 Coping Strategies When Starting the Divorce Process:

 Posted on March 01, 2019 in Divorce

The Ramage Law Group has 27+ years of experience in helping families in the McKinney, Frisco, Plano, Allen, and surround areas specifically in Family Law and Divorce. We have found that although some coping strategies are great in theory, they do not always work effectively in practice.

We conduct client feedback throughout the entire divorce process as we understand how difficult this process can be while filled with such uncertainty and often agony that we have created 5 Coping Strategies that seem to work based off the feedback from our clients. Please feel free to try these yourself or perhaps share with a loved one who is going through the very process.

  1. Rumination – STOP THE LOOP IN YOUR HEAD by simply addressing it head on. Imagining the worst possible outcome and all that it implies actually stops the ruminating (usually coupled with discussions with a therapist) as now it becomes something we can tackle and deal with. Rumination is the repetitive and intrusive thoughts that the brain unconsciously searches for and results in that endless loop of rumination that preoccupies us during times of stress, sapping our emotional and cognitive energy.

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How Do You Co-Parent After an Acrimonious Divorce?

 Posted on February 01, 2019 in High Conflict Family Law

When marriages break down, there is usually some resentment and anger. It's natural. Sometimes, however, the divorcing spouses go through a long period of rage and blame. For exes with children, that can lead to difficulty co-parenting.

Assuming that neither spouse is guilty of child abuse or neglect, however, you are going to have to work together on raising your children. You’ll need to be civil to each other at countless events involving your kids, ranging from parent night at school to weddings and grandchildren.

How can you build a productive co-parenting relationship when you weren’t able to maintain a positive marriage? It won’t be easy, but there are steps you can take to make it easier.

In an acrimonious relationship, the idea that you are “co-parenting” may be a bit of a stretch. On a day-to-day basis, you may not be doing your parenting together at all. What counts is that you communicate over issues of mutual concern, respect each other's boundaries and avoid dragging your kids into the middle of the argument.

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What Really Causes Divorce?

 Posted on January 01, 2019 in Divorce

We are often shocked to hear that someone we love and admire is getting a divorce. You thought this couple was the perfect pair—what went wrong? What issues could have destroyed their marriage?

There is no perfect marriage. Every couple faces problems. Many get through them, but others cannot come together as a couple and as a result, the marriage ends in divorce.

Indeed, it is all about how a couple acts toward each other. Kindness and empathy can help couples weather the toughest marital storms. When couples get defensive and hostile and want to constantly fight, problems do not resolve. In fact, they only get worse.

However, being nice to your partner can only go so far. If he or she has been unfaithful on your or been abusive toward you, you may find it better to call it quits. Here are some common reasons why couples decide to divorce.

Top Causes of Divorce

This may come as no surprise that infidelity is one of the main causes of divorce. With technology, it's so easy to have emotional and physical affairs. To most, cheating is the ultimate betrayal. It's hard to trust someone who is unfaithful to you.

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Financial Planning After Divorce

 Posted on December 01, 2018 in Divorce

During a divorce, you no doubt have numerous issues on your mind. Child custody, child support, maintenance, asset division, to name a few. One thing many people neglect, though, is finances. How will you support yourself after a divorce?

Child support and maintenance won’t pay all your expenses. If you currently aren’t working, now's the time to get a job. You need to pay bills, pay off debts and save up for college and other huge expenses.

It's not just about paying for a divorce; you’ll also need to fund your new life. Your new life will consist of just you (and kids, if you have them). Your spouse will no longer be contributing to your household budget, so it's up to you to get on a solid financial foot. Not sure where to start? Here are some tips to help.

Change Your Mindset

Once you are single, you are not guaranteed the life you had while you were married. A household is getting split into two, and it is cheaper for two to live under one roof. Therefore, you need to change the way you look at money. Don’t let your emotions get in the way. At this time, money will be the basis of everything you do.

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Substance Abuse and Its Impact on Child Custody

 Posted on November 01, 2018 in Child Custody

Most parents want what is best for their children. In a divorce, they may choose to share custody of the children so both parents are a part of the children's’ lives. But what if the other parent neglects the child due to a substance abuse issue?

Courts have the best interests of the children in mind when making custody decisions. Therefore, allegations of drug or alcohol abuse by either parent will be taken seriously. The court may order drug or alcohol testing or even temporarily halt visitation rights until the addicted parent enters and completes a recovery program.

Before the Divorce is Finalized

While the divorce is still in process, one parent can maybe claim that the other parent has a substance abuse issue. In some cases, these allegations are false. One or both parents may be asked to submit to drug and alcohol tests.

There are many ways in which a person can be tested for recent drug or alcohol usage. Urine screens, nail tests, and hair tests are the ones most commonly used. Breath and blood tests may also be ordered by the court.

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The Effects of Divorce on College Students

 Posted on September 01, 2018 in Divorce

When a couple has older children and decides that the marriage is broken, they may wait until the children have graduated from high school before filing for divorce. But even when divorce happens while the children are away at college, children are still emotionally affected by their parents’ split.

When a couple has children, there really is noright time to divorce. Going away to college can be scary enough, but having to deal with your family falling apart as well can make school even tougher. Even if the parents split up when the college student is young, the effects can carry on more than a decade later.

A study conducted by Texas A&M discovered that divorce is an environmental factor that can create various emotions. Some children are angry or devastated, while others may be happy that they no longer have to hear their parent's fight. Many people try to suppress their emotions and hope they will eventually go away, but the preferred route is to discuss your feelings with someone.

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