A happy client is a returning client if you offer more than Collaborative Divorce.

Linda McLarnan-Dugan Attorney at Law

By Linda McLarnan-Dugan, Attorney at Law

You’ve successfully negotiated the final Judgment in your client’s divorce which the Court has signed. What’s next? Are you off to seek another client or is there something else you can do for this client?

For a case study, see Annie’s story below:

Right after the divorce

Annie and Lee married in 1982 and split in 2010. During the marriage they had 2 children, both of whom are now adults. During the marriage, Lee worked as an aerospace engineer for Lockheed Martin.  Annie worked as head of marketing and public relations for McDonald’s.  At the time of filing, the parties agreed to waive spousal support, divide the assets equally and divide the attorney’s fees. They agreed that the matter would proceed by default. A judgment and accompanying documents were prepared and signed by the parties. At the time of the default prove-up, Lee had retired and was living outside the US. Shortly after the Judgment was entered Annie contacted me to prepare an Estate Plan for her.

Several years later

Several years later, Annie contacted me to tell her that she was engaged to be married and inquired if I prepared Premarital Agreements. An appointment was arranged and the information necessary to prepare the Premarital Agreement was obtained together with the name of her fiancee’s attorney who would be representing the fiancee.

Shortly after the honeymoon Annie again contacted me to request that I amend her estate plan to include the fact that she remarried.  She hoped to establish a community property estate plan for her and her new husband. At the time I prepared the community property estate plan and amended Annie’s separate property estate plan, we held discussions about what would happen to Annie’s separate property estate and her share of the community property estate if either of her children should pass prior to her death. It was at that time that I learned that Annie’s daughter had a special needs son. We amended both estate plans to include a special needs trust for the grandson in the event that the daughter predeceased Annie.

The future

In the next few years Annie’s grandson will approach 18 years of age. I will be working with Annie’s daughter to obtain a Limited Conservatorship over her son to protect him.  As a result, his parents will be able to make decisions for him for the rest of his life.

Linda McLarnan-Dugan presenting at CP Cal Conference XIII

Want to hear more from Linda McLarnan-Dugan?  Then sign up for CP Cal Conference XIII to hear from Linda and others.  Linda will be offering Workshop #18 entitled “Beyond Collaborative Dissolutions: Expanding Your Collaborative Practice to Assist the Family in Other Areas of the Law”.

In this workshop, you will learn how to use the Collaborative model to expand your practice to assist clients with developing pre-marital agreements later in life, issues they may be facing when preparing their estate plan, handling the estate of a loved one who did not have an estate plan at the time of their death, working with parents to protect their special needs child[ren]’s government benefits, and provide tools to protect aging relatives from undue influence through the use of geriatric evaluations and conservatorships.

Register for Conference XIII HERE!

Collaborative Practice California Conference XIII


About Linda McLarnan-Dugan, Esq

As a family law and probate attorney, Linda has handled all aspects of legal matters effecting the family.  These include dissolutions of marriage, child custody and support, property issues and Premarital Agreements. Linda also handles Probate, Conservatorship, Guardianship and Estate Planning matters. She acts as a private family law mediator and has received an advanced certificate from the Los Angeles County Bar Association in Family and Divorce Mediation. Linda serves as the daily settlement officer for the Los Angeles Court in Pasadena on a rotating basis. She serves as court appointed Minor’s Counsel and Probate Volunteer Attorney. She was Chair of the Pasadena Family Law Bar from 2011 through 2014; the 2018 President Elect of the Pasadena Bar Association; and recipient of 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2016 Pasadena Magazine’s Top Attorney Award.  Linda’s website is lduganlaw.com.