3 Common Types of Employment Disputes And What You Can Do About Them

employment disputes

You could benefit from speaking with an employment lawyer if you’re dealing with an employment dispute. No matter which side you’re on, when issues arise between an employee and an employer, sometimes the best approach is to address them through the legal system. Here are three of the most common types of employment disputes and what you can do about them.

#1: Wrongful Termination

South Carolina is an at-will state, which means an employer can terminate an employee without cause and for any reason. The at-will status also means it’s hard to prove wrongful termination. However, there are specific instances when you can prove wrongful termination and take legal action, including discrimination based on gender, race, religion, and age. Retaliation laws are also in place to protect employees from firing based on a retaliatory act.

#2: Wage Dispute

When an employer fails to compensate an employee for their work and time properly, this can lead to a wage dispute. The issue over lack of compensation often arises from lack of overtime pay, holiday pay, earned tips, allowing for breaks, and paying under minimum wage.

#3: Harassment and Discrimination

Harassment and discrimination suits are common in employment disputes. They can encompass everything from unfair treatment, harassment, and lack of accommodation based on sexual orientation, gender, religion, race, age, disability, and pregnancy, among others.

Whether you’re an employer or an employee, legal representation during an employment dispute can make all the difference in the outcome. Our team is here to help. Contact McCutchen McLean, LLC today.

3 Frequently Asked Questions About Alimony

alimony payment

What do you know about alimony? We’ve got the FAQs you’ve been looking for.

Alimony is a sticky subject, but it’s a primary factor in divorce cases. It can be confusing and hard to navigate, so we’ve compiled a list of the three most common FAQs to help you understand how alimony works in South Carolina.

#1: How Does the Court Determine Alimony and Calculate the Amount?

There are some factors a family court judge considers when determining who will pay alimony and how much. Of course, each case is unique and requires consideration, but this list is some of what goes into their decision.

  • The length of the marriage
  • If the individuals need education and training post-divorce to earn a reasonable income
  • If the individuals are physically and mentally able to work
  • Employment status, where they work, for how long, and their current income
  • The living expenses of each individual
  • Property owned by the couple during the marriage
  • Child custody
  • If there was marital misconduct such as adultery or abuse

#2: Is Alimony Granted in Every Divorce?

There is no guarantee of alimony in any divorce. A judge must deem it necessary to grant it. They do so on a case-by-case basis depending on the needs of each party and the circumstances in the marriage and the divorce. Things such as earning potential, education and training, child custody, and marital misconduct can determine whether the courts grant alimony payments.

#3: Do Alimony Payments Ever Stop?

Some factors determine when alimony payments stop. They include the death of the payor or the payee, expiration of the alimony term, remarriage of the person receiving payments, or modification of the alimony agreement as approved by a judge.

Do you still have questions about how alimony works? Our team of experienced lawyers can help. Contact McCutchen McLean, LLC for legal support and guidance when you’re going through a divorce.

A Living Trust Can Help You Avoid Probate. Here’s How.

Living Trust & Estate Planning

Do you know how to avoid probate when a loved one dies? Here’s how a living trust can help.

Do you have a living trust? Probate can be a nightmare, especially after the loss of a loved one, but a living trust can help you avoid it. Here’s what you need to know about how to avoid probate.

What is a Living Trust?

In the simplest terms, a living trust, created by an individual during their lifetime, is a document designating a trustee for their estate. The trustee manages the assets for the individual and is responsible for transferring those assets to the beneficiary or beneficiaries upon their death and according to their wishes.

What is Probate?

Probate is the legal process overseen by the court system that works to administer the estate of a deceased individual. They work to pay off the individual’s debts before transferring assets and property to their beneficiaries. If there is a will, the courts authenticate it before proceeding and allowing the executor to distribute assets. They follow the state process for managing probate if there isn’t a will.

Will a Living Will Trust Help Avoid Probate?

The courts freeze a deceased individual’s assets during the probate process, meaning your heirs cannot access any property or funds until probate is complete. Fortunately, the assets included in your living trust are not subject to the probate process. The trust and not the estate owns the assets, and therefore, they are exempt from probate, and the trustee can distribute them immediately upon the person’s death or as per their instructions and wishes.

Avoiding probate is one way to protect your family, and a living trust is one of the best ways to do so. It will protect you and your assets while you’re living and when you’re gone. To find out more and to get started on the creation of your trust, contact McCutchen McLean, LLC, today.

Custody Battle 101: 5 Things that Can Hurt Your Case

child custody

What do you need to do to prepare for a custody battle? Discover 5 things that can potentially hurt your case and how to navigate the process successfully.

If you are preparing for a custody battle, you may be looking for tips to navigate the process successfully. Dealing with child custody issues can be overwhelming. And for most parents, it’s new territory. It makes sense to learn as much as you can about how the process works, so you can do everything possible to achieve an optimal outcome for the sake of your children and family.

Keep reading to discover five things that can potentially hurt your case so you can avoid them as you go forward.

Mistake #1: Discussing child custody issues with your children.

Mistake #2: Sharing details about the custody battle or other parent on social media.

Mistake #3: Cutting off the other parent from the children.

Mistake #4: Making important decisions about the kids without checking in with the other parent (unless you have a court order).

Mistake #5: Keeping information about your children or their activities from the other parent.

Although there are exceptions, in most cases, it will be best to avoid these five actions. Why? Because they can impact how the court views your role as a parent. A judge might view these behaviors as vindictive or not in the children’s best interests. When possible, even when the rest of your case is contested, attempting to co-parent is favored by the courts, and it is essential to portray yourself in the best, most responsible light.

Choose McCutchen McLean, LLC, to Navigate Your Custody Battle

Our Lexington child custody attorneys can help you handle child custody issues correctly—so you can avoid common mistakes. We provide experienced counsel and representation to ensure you present your best self to the court. Contact McCutchen McLean, LLC, to discuss how we can help you achieve favorable results for your custody battle.

The Most Common Issues That Come Up During Probate, & How to Avoid Them

last will and testament probate

Does the probate process have to be complicated and stressful? It really doesn’t. While some common problems can arise during probate, having qualified legal representation and a basic understanding of how the process works can help you avoid conflict and hassles.

If you are trying to figure out how to move forward confidently through probate, consider two common issues and tips to avoid them.

Top Two Common Probate Problems

#1: Disputes between Family Members about Estate Distribution

When there are disputes between family members about the distribution of assets to beneficiaries and heirs, things can get complicated quickly. Hiring a qualified probate attorney can ensure you have legal guidance and someone to advise the personal representative or estate executor. The attorney’s services may include finding lost estate assets, managing proceeds from life insurance, handling creditor claims, documentation and paperwork, and more.

#2: No Will or a Will with Unclear Intent

When there is no will or the will does not have clear intent about estate distribution, obtaining the services of a probate attorney is crucial. An attorney will help you navigate the state’s probate code and local probate process for scenarios in which there is no will. The attorney can also provide assistance to either challenge the will’s validity or prove the document is valid—depending on your position, the facts of the situation, and the probate code.

Do you need to find an experienced Lexington probate attorney to help you successfully proceed through the probate process? Contact the legal team at McCutchen McLean, LLC, to avoid the hassles of probate.

4 Common Reasons Couples Separate Instead of Divorce

divorce or separation

If your marriage is on the rocks and seems headed toward dissolution, it’s vital to understand divorce vs. separation. There are advantages as well as repercussions to either choice. Here are four common reasons couples separate first instead of going straight to divorce.

#1: Time for Potential Reconciliation

There are many reasons that marriages can feel strained, where one feels the only possible relief can come from divorce. One of the benefits of separation before divorce is that it allows time for potential healing and possible reconciliation. Sometimes time apart is just what’s needed for a couple to reconnect.

#2: Financial Benefits

Many married couples have intermingled finances from their life together. Divorce will create the need to sever those financial ties; a process that can be contentious and tedious. A separation allows time to work through some of the details of your finances and budget before deciding if divorce is inevitable.

#3: Maintaining Benefits

Many times, benefits such as health, dental, and life insurance can’t continue for a family after a divorce, or become unaffordable. To maintain those benefits while also navigating the end of a marriage, it’s often beneficial to separate while resolving those financial issues.

#4: Preparation for Divorce

Though there are many reasons for a separation before a divorce, one of the most common is that it allows for preparation time. A divorce can be complex, emotional, and overwhelming. Separation gives time and breathing room to plan how things can and should proceed. It creates a starting point for the spouse and the children to learn the new normal without the pressure of rushing to divide assets, or create final orders of monumental importance.

Though South Carolina does not recognize “legal separation”, details regarding support, child custody and visitation, preservation of assets, and restraining orders can be put in place by the courts until you decide to move forward with a divorce. An order of Separate Support and Maintenance will not end the marriage, but it can make life easier for everyone involved, or at least detail your rights and obligations as you contemplate a divorce.

For the legal help you need when navigating divorce vs. separation, contact McCutchen McLean, LLC.

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