Let’s Rodeo, Houston!

The best time of year has officially arrived…the 2018 Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HLSR)! Texas is sure proud of our state and our western heritage.  This time of year, you will find Houstonians dawning their finest western wear to be a part of the festivities. HLSR is a three-week-long event and it takes a village working together to pull it off. In this case, it takes 33,000 volunteers, giving their time and talents to help make the rodeo the huge success that it is each year.

The HLSR is a non-profit 401(c)3 whose mission statement: “promotes agriculture by hosting an annual, family-friendly experience that educates and entertains the public, supports Texas youth, showcases Western heritage and provides year-round educational support within the community.” Since its founding in 1932, the rodeo has given more than $450 million in scholarships to Texas youth.

There is something for everyone to do at the rodeo; it is truly entertainment for the entire family! If your child is an animal lover, attending the event is a must.  They will be able to enjoy pony and camel rides, a petting zoo, and a tent called “We’re Small Y’all” where kiddos have the opportunity to see baby animals.

Maybe your child enjoys riding rides more than seeing the animals – no problem there.  The carnival is open every day to the public and offers all types of rides that accommodate the entire family. Whether you go for the shopping, concerts, fried foods, entertainers or rodeo action, there is so much to do! If you’re looking to save a little money, go to the rodeo on Value Wednesday, when tickets, food and activities are discounted.

The concert lineup this year is off the charts! You won’t want to miss your favorite stars on the big stage! The weekday performances begin at 6:45 p.m., and the weekend performances begin at 3:45 p.m.

Click here for a full concert lineup for the HLSR!

 

New Locations For Ramos Law Group, PLLC.: 

The Woodlands and Sugar Land Offices

The Ramos Law Group, PLLC. is thrilled to announce the opening of two new locations in The Woodlands and Sugar Land. We have been working tirelessly to get these offices operational and we are thrilled that the day has finally come for us to open our doors! Our Family Law attorneys cater to any and everyone who needs help going through divorce, custody concerns and any other family issues.

Houston, TX, March 5, 2018– The Ramos Law Group, PLLC., a Family Law firm, is excited to announce the opening of two new offices located in Sugar Land and The Woodlands. We’ve been working to get these locations open for quite some time and are ecstatic that the day has finally come!

“The most important thing for us is to help our fellow Texans. At the end of the day, if we can help our clients heal, find peace and achieve happiness, then we’ve done our job.” -Mary E. Ramos, Company Founder

Since we have added locations in The Woodlands and Sugar Land, we are more accessible than ever. Our company also operates with 100% transparency. Our rates are all online. Check around on other Family Law websites; this level of openness is unseen in our industry. With a strong staff who only works in Family law, people from all over Houston can come to any Ramos Family Law location and know that they will receive an unparalleled level of customer service. We promise that our Family Law gladiators will fight to make sure that you are taken care of.

“At Ramos Family Law, we offer a ‘Raving Fan Guarantee.’ If our customer is not happy with the service they receive, we offer them up to a $1,000 refund. “ -Alfredo Ramos, Business Futurist at Ramos Law Group

Ramos Family Law, PLLC.  was started in 2004 by Mary E. Ramos who through her efforts and those of her team has grown the organization from a single attorney firm to one with over ten employees and four attorneys.  We are committed to the practice of divorce and family law in Harris, Fort Bend, Galveston and Brazoria County. We have effectively negotiated positive outcomes in complicated divorce, child custody and property division cases while keeping attorney fees under control.

If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Kristy Tatom at (281)225-6200 or email at info@ramosfamilylaw.com.

It is February and that means love is in the air. Valentine’s Day means candy and flowers for adults, but you don’t want to forget the kids! For children going through and caught in the middle of their parents’ divorce, it is an extra important to remind them they are loved and cherished. Try sending a sweet note in their lunch box, use a heart shaped cookie cutter to cut their sandwich, make a special dinner for you and the kids, or stay in and have a carpet picnic or movie night. You can even take them out on a one-on-one date. It doesn’t have to be a five-star restaurant; just being together will make it more special. You could potentially help them create cards for their siblings. Think about being crafty with their valentine cards, decorative cute little card boxes and fun treats for school!

Valentine’s Day is filled with so much excitement and celebration for the kids at school. It is excitement for them and perhaps a little pressure for the parent to try to come up with cute ideas. Be creative! If you search the internet, you can find printable valentines and tons more. If you want to go the extra mile, spend time with your child creating homemade treats for their classmates. This bonding can be fun, and it doesn’t have to be expensive or even intimidating. Kids still get excited at elementary school parties dumping out their Valentine’s Day box to see their cards and enjoying all the treats. It is certainly an excuse to let you kids eat as much candy and junk food as they want – just make sure they brush their teeth extra well that night! Below are some great ideas to make with your children. You not only get to spend quality time by creating something together, you also get to help ensure their class party is a little extra special this year. The only thing that truly matters is that they know they are loved this Valentine’s Day and every day.

  1. Chocolate Covered Strawberry Hearts

http://onelittleproject.com/chocolate-covered-strawberry-hearts/

  1. Valentine’s Marshmallow Pops

http://www.glorioustreats.com/2011/02/valentines-marshmallow-pops.html

  1. Strawberry Roses

https://www.spendwithpennies.com/how-to-make-strawberry-roses/

  1. Apple Sandwich hearts

http://www.happytogetherbyjess.com/hearts-in-apple-sandwich/

  1. Heart rice krispie pops

https://www.skiptomylou.org/heart-rice-krispie-pops/

  1. Fruit kabobs

https://shmallergy.wordpress.com/2012/02/13/cupids-arrows-valentines-day-fruit-kabobs/

  1. Red velvet sandwich cookies

http://www.bakerella.com/easy-and-easier-valentine-treats/

  1. Chocolate sticks

http://www.superziper.com/2011/01/palitinhos-de-chocolate.html

  1. Valentine’s bark

https://lilluna.com/valentines-bark/

  1. Dipped and decorated pretzels

http://www.5minutesformom.com/49632/kid-friendly-dipped-and-decorated-pretzels-for-valentines-day/

  1. Pink Fuzzy Monster Cupcakes

http://thecakeblog.com/2014/01/diy-love-bug-cupcakes.html

  1. Chocolate Sprinkle Donuts

https://www.lovefromtheoven.com/valentines-day-donuts/

  1. Valentine’s Brownies

https://www.itsalwaysautumn.com/shot-house-valentines-brownies.html

  1. Home made Pop Tarts

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/213567/home-made-top-tarts/?internalSource=streams&referringId=1417&referringContentType=recipe%20hub&clickId=st_trending_b

  1. Chocolate Chip Cookie Heats

https://princesspinkygirl.com/chocolate-chip-cookie-hearts/

  1. Marbled Valentine Sugar Cookies

https://www.bakedbyrachel.com/marbled-valentine-sugar-cookies/

  1. Valentine’s Day Ladybug Oreo Treats

http://formodernkids.com/valentines-day-ladybug-oreo-treats/

  1. Valentine’s Day Chocolate Teddy Bear Bites

https://productivepete.com/2018/01/17/make-chocolate-teddy-bear-bites/

  1. Valentine’s Candy Dog

http://kidfriendlythingstodo.com/2018/01/valentines-candy-dog-fun-kids-craft-treat/

  1. Valentine’s Day Popcorn

http://www.twosisterscrafting.com/valentines-day-popcorn/

These are not only adorable but also look delicious and something your kids class with certainly love to eat on to help celebrate the day! I can promise you that they will certainly remember the time spent together to make their Valentine’s Day all the more special for a while to come.

During this chapter in your life there is going to be situation that arise during your divorce that you are unsure how to handle or address with your young child or teen. This is a confusing time for your young child or teen with them trying to understand what is happening and what is a divorce, understanding their feelings about the current situation, and coming to terms that the two people they love the most will no longer be under one roof.  Giving your young child or teen available resources to better assistant them with understanding the situation and prepare them for what is two come. Children and teens need reassurance that they are not alone during this time and even though everyone won’t be together in the same home, they still have both parents, and they are loved.

Are you facing a situation at home where you child thinks the divorce is their fault, questioning why they are going to have two homes, or just overall trying to understand what is happening between their parents? As a parent, you want to reassure your child that what currently is progressing is not their fault and give them the knowledge that both parents will continue to spend time with them and love them. Below are a few books for children ranging between the ages of 3 – 12 years old to help them understand why they now have two homes instead of one, releasing that divorce is not their fault, and helping them realize they are not alone.

  • Two Homes

By: Claire Masural (Author) &  Kady MacDonald Denton (Illustrator)

Available on Amazon:

  • Standing on My Own Two Feet: A Child’s Affirmation of Love in the Midst of Divorce

By: Tamara Schmitz

Available on Amazon:

  • When My Parents Forgot How to Be Friends (Let’s Talk About It!)

By: Jennifer Moore-Mallinos (Author) & Marta Fabrega (Illustrator)

Available on Amazon:

  • Living with Mom and Living with Dad

By: Melanie Walsh

Available on Amazon:

  • Was It the Chocolate Pudding?:A Story For Little Kids About Divorce

By: Sandra Levins and Bryan Langdo

Available on Amazon:

  • Divorce Is Not the End of the World: Zoe’s and Evan’s Coping Guide for Kids

By: Zoe Stern & Evan Stern

Available on Amazon:

Teenagers are feeling new emotions called puberty and navigating the new unknown world of either middle school or high school, trying to find where they belong. For some teenagers, divorce might not be something they emotionally can comprehend or even fully understand, while they are undergoing their current transition themselves. Providing a resource to your teenager might enable them to better organize their emotions and thoughts on the process. Below are a few suggestions to help your teen understand divorce and the changes that are about to occur in their lives.

  • Now What Do I Do?: A Guide to Help Teenagers with Their Parents’ Separation or Divorce

By: Lynn Cassella-Kapusinski

Available on Amazon:

 

  • Divorce Helpbook for Teens (Rebuilding Books)

By: Cynthia MacGregor

Available on Amazon:

 

  • The Bright Side: Surviving Your Parents’ Divorce

By: Max Sindell

Available on Amazon:

 

Disclaimer: Please note that we have not read the suggested books above but have recommended them based on the synopsis and reviews.

Retainer AgreementAs an attorney, I often hear clients ask, “What is a retainer?”  Potential clients and existing clients of attorneys are often times misinformed when it comes to understanding what a legal retainer is and how it is used throughout the entirety of their legal case.

A retainer is the fee that the client pays when hiring an attorney to act on his or her behalf.  Typically, the attorney sets the retainer fee prior to taking a client’s case. When a client decides to hire an attorney to represent them in their legal dispute, the attorney will require the client to furnish adequate funds to meet the attorney’s set retainer amount.

Once the client pays the retainer fee, the attorney places the funds in the client’s trust account.  As work is performed on the client’s case, the attorney will deduct his or her expenses related to the case from the retainer, thus decreasing the amount of funds in the client’s trust account.  As the deductions from the retainer decrease the amount of the account, the attorney may require the client to replenish their retainer to ensure the attorney has sufficient funds to adequately represent the client.

The practice of law is a service-based industry and an attorney’s time is his commodity. Attorneys use retainers to solidify the fact that once hired, the attorney now represents the client and will operate off of the client’s retainer account. The retainer allows the attorney to provide necessary services to obtain the client’s goals, including determining and executing an appropriate strategy and plan of action in reaching a client’s goals through various functions. For example, it is very likely that the client will be billed for legal research, drafting of pleadings, telephone and in person conferences, drafting and reviewing emails, telephone conversations with opposing counsel, preparation of discoverable documents, investigation of facts, preparation for and appearances in court, correspondence with the court, and other tasks necessary to adequately handle the matter in controversy. The attorney’s time involved in out-of-office representation will be measured from the time the attorney leaves the office until the attorney arrives back at the office.

The following fees are examples of expenses that will be deducted from the retainer: court fees, duplication fees, filing fees, facsimile fees, and postage fees.  Larger expenses such as travel expenses, long distance telephone expenses, accountant’s fees, appraiser’s fees, consultant’s fees, other professional fees incurred on the client’s behalf (including specialized or local legal counsel), and other disbursements will be in addition to the retainer amount. Thus, the client will have to bear the cost of those fees separately from the attorney’s retainer amount.

The retainer amount and the process by which the attorney’s firm uses or spends the client retainer amount is normally discussed simultaneously with the explanation and signing of the retaining contract for hire with the attorney or the attorney’s firm.  The contract should explain in detail how the retainer will be used, as well as, when and how the client’s money will be drafted from the retainer account.  Retainers are property of the client and the client’s funds only, not the attorneys. The attorney only receives the amount of the retainer in which the attorney earns by working on the case.  Once the case has been resolved, the attorney should return any remaining retainer funds in the client’s trust account to the client.

Quick Example:

If the retainer is $5,000 and the attorney and her staff expend 5 hours at a rate of $300.00 per hour preparing, conferencing, drafting, and filing the original answer and the counter petition then the client should expect that a total of $1,500.00 of work was performed on the case, thus leaving a total of $3,500.00 left in the clients retainer fund. If filing an original petition for divorce, the client must also consider filing fees at around $400.00 and service fees for the process server of approximately $100.00. Those fees would be subtracted from the retainer amount as well, leaving the client retainer fund with about $3,000.00. It is important for the client to understand that the retainer is an initial deposit and will likely have to be replenished before the suit is resolved.

Reducing the Cost of Legal Representation

A divorce is one of the most challenging and emotionally draining experiences someone can go through. An effective and experienced family law attorney can help guide you through this trying process, but it’s no secret that hiring legal representation in Texas can be expensive. Consider these tips:

  • Send specific, numbered questions via email
  • Gather documents and do your own homework
  • Create a timeline of your case

In this video, Mary E. Ramos outlines these tips to help reduce the cost of representation in Texas. If you’re going through a divorce, or any other difficult family law situation, contact the expert attorneys at Ramos Law Group, PLLC for more information.

1. Send Your Questions Via Email

Divorce can get expensive, especially when people won’t agree to things. As soon as attorneys get involved, expenses begin to skyrocket. One of the ways that you can reduce your attorney fees during the divorce process is to communicate via email to your attorney when you have questions and concerns.

At Ramos Law Group, attorneys may request that clients send questions, numbered one through five, in an email so that they can addressed and dealt with in an efficient and timely manner. The office policy is to return all emails within a 24 hour period.

2. Do Your Own Homework

Another way to mitigate your expenses is to do as much homework as you can on your own and gather documents to provide your attorneys. The less time that your attorneys have to work on your case, the less expensive it is for you.

3. Create a Timeline

One of the most effective tips to help reduce the cost of representation in Texas is to create a timeline of your case for your attorney. In other words, write out the ‘story’ of your case. Your divorce case is a story, and the only way your attorney is going to be able to relay that story to the judge is to know exactly what is going on. Remember: this your case, this is your marriage, these are your children, this is your life.

By providing as much detail as possible to your attorneys, they will be able to express your concerns to the judge more accurately; it’s like drawing a picture in a coloring book, and filling out that picture with as much detail as possible. This puts your attorneys in a better position to reach the goals set in your case.

Contact Our Team Today

Mary E. Ramos is committed to achieving positive outcomes for each and every one of her clients. As a board certified family law attorney, she has the knowledge, experience, and reputation you’re looking for when you’re going through a divorce. Consider these tips to help reduce the cost of representation in Texas, and schedule a consultation with our attorneys at Ramos Law Group, PLLC, today.

wooden gavel and block

There’s an old joke that goes something like this: What’s the difference between a lawyer and God? Answer: God doesn’t think he’s a lawyer. Yes, everyone loves a good lawyer joke, and granted, there is no shortage of sleazy shysters out there, but with a bit of patience and research, you can easily avoid the bad guys and obtain a lawyer who really does have your best interests at heart. This is important, because a good attorney can be an invaluable asset. Consider just some of the ways in which a qualified attorney can help you today.

A Sound Strategy

As far as complexity is concerned, quantum physics has nothing on our American legal system. Attorneys spend years making sense of the intricacies so that you don’t have to. If you have a legal issue that pertains to a crime, business or civil matter, an attorney can help you to make sense of your rights and develop a strategy to ensure the best possible outcome. By contrast, a lack of qualified legal representation can all but guarantee that you obtain less than what you deserve…if you obtain anything at all.

A More Timely and Stable Resolution

Let’s say that you decide to start a corporation. “I don’t need a lawyer to start a business,” you said. “I read an article on eHow, and I think I pretty much have the gist of it.” So you started filling out the forms, drafting your Articles of Incorporation, and paying the fees. As it turns out, though, you forgot to file all of the necessary paperwork, resulting in timely and costly delays, and now you’re being sued for trademark infringement by a company with a similar name located halfway across the world. With a qualified lawyer, you could have avoided all of these pitfalls.

A Level Playing Field

Let’s say that you’re in the midst of a divorce. You don’t have an attorney, but your spouse does. You might as well raise the white flag right now. A qualified attorney provides you with a level playing field. He or she understands all of the methods, strategies and tricks that the opposing lawyer is likely to unleash, and can help you to not only weather those storms unscathed, but to implement highly effective legal strategies of your own. Without this kind of professional assistance, your goose is cooked (if you’ll forgive the cliché).

stressful divorceImproved Peace of Mind

Most importantly of all, a qualified lawyer gives you the confidence to walk into that courtroom knowing that you have more than a fighting chance. Your attorney takes care of all the boring, confusing and frustrating legal procedures on your behalf, so you can focus on more important things. That freedom alone is worth the cost of a good attorney.

Divorce and Family Lawyer – Houston Texas

Mary E. Ramos is the lawyer Houston is talking about. If you need your own highly qualified family lawyer in Houston, contact Ramos Law Group, PLLC today at 713-225-6200. We’ll show you why we’re not your average law firm, and we’ll fight to get you the favorable outcome you deserve.

harris county district court

Finding the right lawyer in Houston can be quite the undertaking. With a population of over 2 million, we make up the largest city in Texas and the fourth largest city in the United States. We have nearly 600 square miles of land and enough attorneys to populate a medium-sized island (I know there’s a lawyer joke in there somewhere). Every attorney claims to be the best, so how do you actually go about choosing the right one—or ones—to defend your rights?

Choosing the Perfect Lawyer in Houston

The first step, of course, is just process of elimination. What kind of attorney do you need? A divorce lawyer? A personal injury lawyer? A criminal lawyer? Perhaps an attorney who handles mass torts? Stay away from general-purpose, Jack-of-all-trades attorneys. As the local country buffet always reminds us, those who don’t excel at something are mediocre at everything. Hire a lawyer who knows their trade inside and out.

Look for Reviews and Recommendations

The Houston Lawyer Referral Service is an excellent non-profit agency that links people with qualified, highly rated attorneys in the Houston area. You can also find detailed reviews on sites like YellowPages.com, Yelp, Google Reviews, Avvo Lawyer Directory, and the FindLaw Lawyers Directory. If you find a lawyer who seems like a potential match, check out their reviews and testimonials. The more time you spend researching, the more informed your decision will be.

Speak to Potential CandidatesDivorce Consultation

Just because an attorney has an attractive website and plenty of glowing reviews doesn’t automatically mean that they are the right fit for you. If a particular individual seems to show potential, give them a call and schedule a consultation. This will enable you to speak directly to the attorney and determine whether the two of you are on the same page. If you have any reservations or misgivings, keep looking. This is one of the biggest cities in the country, and there is no shortage of legal professionals.

Questions to Ask Your Attorney

  • How many years have you been in business?
  • What are your strategies? Do you take an aggressive approach, or do you favor settlements?
  • How long will this case take to resolve?
  • What are your fees?
  • Do you have experience in the county (or court) in question?

Find Your Lawyer in Houston – Call us Today

If you’re looking for the right lawyer in Houston who works in divorce and family proceedings, call Ramos Law Group, PLLC at 713-225-6200. We’ll gladly set you up with a consultation and demonstrate precisely how we can help you. Our services include divorce, child support, adoption, alimony, visitation and other critical family matters. Don’t hesitate another moment. Call us today.

Happy couple in a convertible car waving with just divorced signDivorce is a traumatic process for the individuals whose marriage is ending as well as their families and children. Because the process is messy, filled with emotions and incredibly stressful, there are many misconceptions surrounding divorces. People should consider these common misconceptions and remember that hiring a Houston divorce lawyer can help them find a reasonable resolution to their marriage.

1. Dissolution of Marriage vs. Legal Separation

Many people are interested in the idea of a legal separation. In some states the dissolution of marriage and legal separation are actually quite similar. They both involve an agreement that the parties reach about child custody, marital property, child support and other elements of the marriage. The difference is that when a couple is only legally separated, they cannot legally enter into a new marriage contract with someone else, while dissolution of marriage allows people to remarry. However, Texas does not recognize legal separation. The only options for couples in Texas is to remain married or to divorce.

2. No Fault Divorce

Under Texas law, there are a variety of legal reasons to justify divorce, including abuse, adultery and insupportability- which is a kind of catchall term for when a couple cannot go on being married.  Almost every person who wants a divorce in Texas can legally get a divorce using the irreconcilable differences justification, or the no fault divorce. Most agreed divorces are granted on the terms of insupportability.

3. Custody Dispute Standards

The Texas courts are required to examine the best interests of the child when ruling on custody. In this analysis, the judge may examine the spouse’s home environment, history of abuse, employment, and a variety of other factors to determine what’s best for the child. A Houston divorce lawyer can help their client make a strong custody argument to the judge.

4. Age When the Child Can State a Custody Preference

In Texas, children are not allowed to testify in court. Many years ago children of a certain age could sign papers stating a preference as to where they will live, however that is no longer allowed. Upon the motion of one party, the court may speak to children at least 12 years of age in the judge’s chamber. Even if the child prefers one parent over the other, the court may overrule the child if they feel another arrangement is in the child’s best interest.

5. Joint Custody Involves Equal Time with the Children

Divorce and Separation conceptCustody is called conservatorship in Texas. In Texas, courts presume that parents have joint managing conservatorship. A parent with joint custody has the right to manage the child’s affairs like schooling, legal affairs, medical needs, upbringing and extracurricular activities. Just because a parent has joint custody doesn’t mean they have equal time with the child; they just have a say in managing the child’s life. The possession determines how often each parent sees the child, and Houston divorce lawyers can help people form solid parenting plans that include conservatorship and possession.

6. Computation of Child Support

There’s a defined schedule for child support for parents who make less than $8,550 a month that starts at 20% of income per month for one child and increases with more children from there.

7. Wage Assignment

Texas garnishes wages, also called wage assignment, in order to ensure that child support from one parent reaches the other parent. The money is taken directly from the supporting parent’s paycheck.

8. Division of Property

Courts usually divide marital property equally, but they have some discretion to make unequal distribution if, for example, one of the spouses hides assets or one spouse significantly out earns the other, or if one spouse is at fault in the breakup of the marriage. Spouses can also trade off property that they find important for consideration in other property.

9. Cost of Divorce

Divorce is often expensive. By utilizing processes like mediation and effective negotiations, spouses can save themselves time and money. When the divorce drags on through litigation hearings in court, however, it can become expensive.

Contacting a Divorce Lawyer

Qualified Houston Divorce lawyers are able to diligently analyze a spouse’s circumstances and rights to develop an effective and cost controlled plan for dealing with the divorce. If things don’t go as planned, they can also aggressively pursue their client’s interests in court.

The Houston divorce lawyers at Ramos Law Group, PLLC are committed to finding the best solutions for our clients. Contact our office for more information or to speak with an attorney today.

Texas recognizes an informal marriage, or what is often called a common law marriage, in very limited circumstances. Simply living together, sharing a residence, or even having children together is not enough to create to a common law marriage, regardless of how long you have been a couple.

Several specific factors must be met in order to create an informal marriage under the Texas Family Code:

1.      A man and a woman, neither of whom are married to anyone else and who are over the age of eighteen,
2.      must agree to be married,
3.      must live together in the state of Texas,
4.      and must represent themselves as a married couple to others in Texas.

If all of these factors are not fulfilled a common law marriage has not occurred. Often, one or more of these factors are missing. For example, the parties may live together and occasionally tell people that they are husband and wife, but if they have never agreed to be married, then an informal marriage has not occurred. Sometimes parties agree to be married in the future, then a common law marriage has not occurred. Sometimes the parties have only told people who live outside of Texas that they are married, for example parents who reside out of state. In this case, a common law marriage has not occurred.

If your relationship meets all of the requirements of a common law marriage in Texas, then it will be treated like a formalized marriage for the purposes of a divorce. If that is the case, it is important to contact an experienced divorce attorney, who will help protect your interests.

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