How To Break The News Of Divorce To Your Children

divorce effect on children

The effects of divorce on children are widely studied and documented, but it’s hard to grasp until you’ve gone through it, as a parent or even as a child of divorce. A critical first step to helping your children understand what’s happening is learning how to communicate with them about it effectively. Here are some ideas that may be helpful.

Come Up with a Plan

Having a plan is essential when it comes to difficult news and challenging conversations. When and how you tell them will impact how they receive the message. Set aside a time for that conversation when nothing else is going on, and there are no distractions.

Work as a Team

No matter how amicable or contentious your divorce, set it all aside for this important conversation. Show up as a united front without blame, judgment, or arguing. Working as a team will help your children feel safe, secure, and cared for by both of you.

Don’t Leave them Wondering

Your children typically live in the home with you and many times know when things are not great or there is conflict between the parents. When talking to kids about divorce, treat your children with respect. Sometimes honesty is the best policy in age-appropriate terms, but sometimes “fault-ground” reasons for the divorce should not be discussed until much later after the divorce trauma or when the children are older, if at all. Don’t forget to assure the children they are not the reason for the divorce and that both parents love them unconditionally, no matter what. Your children  deserve to know why their family and their lives are about to drastically change.

Talk About the Future

One of the things kids worry about when their parents get divorced is what the future will look like. Not knowing where they’ll live, who they’ll spend time with, if they have to change schools, make new friends, be on different sports teams, or give up their pets are all things that scare children about divorce. Talk to them about the future, even if you’re not sure yourselves. Reassure them. Helping them feel secure is the goal.

Navigating a divorce, even in the best circumstances, is challenging. Having a reliable attorney in your corner is one way to ease the stress and vicissitudes of divorce. Contact the legal team at McCutchen McLean, LLC for compassionate and experienced divorce representation.

Conservatorships Vs. Guardianship, what are the Differences?

Difference Between Conservatorships and Guardianships

Understanding the difference between conservatorship and guardianship is challenging. Which do you need? Which would best serve your family and loved ones? We’ve got an essential guide to conservatorships vs. guardianships.


Conservatorships handle the financial affairs of a living person. The goal is to protect both the individual and their assets when they are unable to manage them alone and can’t make informed decisions that are in their best interests. The conservator that oversees the finances is accountable to the courts to act on the best interest of the individual and their estate.


Like conservatorships, guardianships work to assist an individual when they are not able to manage their personal welfare. However, where a conservatorship focuses on the financial assets, a guardianship handles all other personal matters for the individual, including healthcare decisions, living and wellness issues, personal care, and mental health concerns.

When to Use Which

It’s not always up to a loved one or family member to determine conservatorship vs. guardianship. That’s where the courts come in. A judge is responsible for determining which is best for the individual based on many factors. They’ll determine what they feel will most closely meet the person’s needs while considering the circumstances that created the need for oversight.

One thing is clear when caring for someone who can’t care for themselves – you need a reliable and compassionate attorney on your side. Ensuring the protection of your loved one while navigating the legal system and what’s required can be overwhelming. Contact the experienced lawyers at McCutchen McLean, LLC to learn more about these two options and which is best.

Understanding Estate Administration and What to do with Someone’s Estate

understanding estate administration

There is a lot of business to attend to when a loved one dies, not the least of which is understanding estate administration. During the emotional upheaval that comes with this loss, being the executor is an added task that can be both an honor and a burden. However, we’ve got some simple guidance to help you navigate the process.

What is Estate Administration?

When a person dies, someone must handle their affairs, including managing assets, property, and belongings. All these things are part of their estate, and managing their distribution is estate administration. Therefore, to be the executor of someone else’s estate is to be their estate administrator.

How to Settle Someone’s Estate

If the individual dies with a will, the executor follows those instructions and wishes in handling the property. The estate management follows South Carolina law if there is no will. Things an executor is responsible for include:

  • Paying or settling any outstanding debt
  • Paying estate taxes
  • Filing paperwork
  • Locating and protecting all estate assets
  • Identifying beneficiaries and heirs of the deceased, including those named in the will
  • Distributing financial assets, property, and belongings to those beneficiaries and heirs

Why Legal Assistance is Essential

When a person dies with property and assets, whether they have a will or not, a battle over those things is sometimes inevitable. Understanding the ins and outs of estate administration is critical to handling your loved one’s affairs with compassion and care, but it’s also the key to avoiding a fight over what they left behind. Having a legal team on your side will help you understand and get through the process. Additionally, they will represent you in the courts, guide you through the legal system, and help you avoid additional legal battles while ensuring the upholding of your loved one’s wishes and honoring their memory.

The trusted legal team at McCutchen McLean LLC has extensive experience in estate administration. Contact them today for a free consultation and the thoughtful guidance you need during this challenging time.

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.



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