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Thumbnail image for MLJ WEB.jpgMichele L. Jackson, founding partner of Harden Jackson, LLC, and Chair of the firm’s Adoption and Reproductive Law Practice Group, was appointed to the Indiana Governor’s Adoption Committee on July 21, 2014. Michele, who is also the CEO and founder of MLJ Adoptions, will be serving on the committee alongside eight other Indiana adoption professionals.

The Indiana Governor’s Adoption Committee was formed after Governor Pence enacted House Enrolled Act 1222 (HEA 1222) earlier this year. HEA 1222 also established Indiana’s first adoption tax credit. The committee’s responsibilities include studying other states’ partnerships with private, faith-based, and community organizations to provide services through the states’ public adoption programs, making recommendations to improve of Indiana’s adoption programs, and reporting the findings and recommendations to Governor Mike Pence and the Indiana Department of Child Services.

Michele was heavily involved with the Act throughout the legislative process, and had the privilege to testify before the Indiana House Family, Children, and Human Affairs committee in support of the Act. Her testimony included information about the individual and communal benefits of expanding and improving adoption in the State of Indiana, as well as the life-changing impact of adoption. Michele also emphasized that lack of financial resources may dissuade families from pursuing adoption. Michele was honored to attend the ceremonial signing of HEA 1222 alongside adoptive families and other adoption advocates, who were there to witness the culmination of their hard work.

Thumbnail image for LMH WEB2.jpgDivorce is traumatic, but it does not have to be tragic. With the New Year comes a new beginning for many who are going through a divorce. Lanae Harden, who chairs the Family Law Practice Group at HARDEN JACKSON, offers the following suggestions to help you through the process. With more than 18 years as a family law attorney handling complex and high-conflict divorce and custody cases in Indiana, she has heard almost everything.

  • Don’t refuse to communicate with your ex (unless the relationship is abusive). Refusing to communicate will only result in increased animosity and ultimately, more time and expense. If you set an adversarial tone because of your anger and emotions, your case will take longer. You also won’t recover as quickly (emotionally or financially), and you’ll likely be re-litigating issues for months or years after your divorce. For your children’s sake, be willing to communicate in a civil and respectful manner.
  • Always put your children’s interests first. Not only is this in the best interests of your children, but from a strategic standpoint, your willingness to act in good faith will have a favorable impact on your case at court. Every action you take should be measured by how it will be viewed by the judge. When it comes to custody, judges are evaluating which parent places the children as priorities. Remember, questionable actions or behavior by you could be used by your spouse’s attorney to negatively affect you. Attorneys are trained to spin circumstances to favor their clients. Don’t leave anything up to interpretation.

sperm.jpgWith donor situations becoming more prevalent in the media: through the internet, television (MTV’s Generation Cryo series) and on the big screen (Vince Vaughn’s Delivery Man), it makes one contemplate which person’s rights are more important to protect in dealing with such an intimate set of circumstances. Should the donor’s rights to remain anonymous prevail over his or her potential offspring’s rights to know their biological identity? For example, you have a sperm or egg donor that is explicit that they want their identity to remain anonymous. Their reasons for donating might be financially motivated or morally motivated. Either way, they are contributing their healthy sperm or ovum to individuals or couples that otherwise would not have been able to conceive. These donors remain anonymous for possibly a number of reasons: they don’t want to be financially responsible, don’t want to have a relationship, etc.

Fast forward to years later perhaps the donor’s offspring has an interest in finding that ‘anonymous’ donor. Maybe their reasons are for fulfillment of health history or genetic illnesses, curiosity about looks, or maybe even to form a relationship. Situations have arisen that could tip in favor of the donor offspring obtaining identifying information about the donor. For example, this story: A man and woman meet in college, marry and have 3 children. Both spouses are children of lesbian mothers who each conceived with donor sperm (in different states and through different sperm banks). One spouse has found the identity of their donor, but the other has had no desire. After some hesitation, the one partner is convinced to also find the identity of their donor. Surprise! Both of them are from the same donor and are half siblings! Reasons such as genetic illnesses and incest relationships are extremely important and could warrant an offspring finding their donor. This is becoming more of an issue that needs to be contemplated. However, making such donors known could possibly deter a person from wanting to donate again or ever.

Remember, these suggestions are not meant to be legal advice. You should consult an experienced assisted reproductive technology law attorney to discuss the specifics of your situation

Roesch, Amanda_5649Web.jpgCARMEL, IN – June 27, 2013 -Harden Jackson is pleased to announce that Amanda D. Sapp has joined the firm’s Assisted Reproductive Technology and Adoption practices.

Amanda Sapp is a registered nurse and worked at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis for over 7 years. In 2011, Ms. Sapp graduated with a Master of Science in Nursing. Ms. Sapp received her Juris Doctor from Indiana University’s Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Indianapolis. Ms. Sapp has also been certified by the Indiana Supreme Court as a registered public policy mediator. Prior to joining Harden Jackson, Ms. Sapp worked for a law firm as a legal nurse consultant.

Her legal and medical knowledge will, no doubt, help serve clients in the ever evolving area of assisted reproductive law.

Attorney Lanae Harden explains the Indiana law surrounding alimony, or as it’s known in Indiana, spousal maintenance. There are limited instances in which a judge would grant spousal maintenance.



Harden Jackson Law is devoted to servicing clients throughout the Indianapolis area and the state of Indiana in all areas family law. Our attorneys are dedicated to providing guidance, tenacious advocacy and effective solutions for your life transitions.

By: Amanda Glowacki

17.jpgThe use of parenting coordinators is something our office is seeing more and more in domestic relations cases in the Indianapolis area. Like mediation or collaborative law, there is a demand for alternative means of resolving domestic relations cases outside of court. Where appropriate, I believe that Parenting Coordinators can be very beneficial to parents who have high conflict on routine issues. These are issues that that are not necessarily suited for a judge to decide such as parenting time exchanges, daycare, etc.

A Parenting Coordinator (PC) is a court-appointed “special master” tasked to assist parents with the development, implementation, and monitoring of parenting plans in hopes of reducing re-litigation. PCs also help parties and their children adjust to divorce and resolve impasses between parents. Most PCs have experience with family law issues whether it is as an attorney, counselor, or mental health professional. A PC’s authority is specifically defined by the Court through an Order of Appointment prepared by the parties and their attorneys. The order outlines which matters a PC can address as well as confidentiality, length of appointment, authority to request information, fees, etc.

11129148.jpgIt appears that Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher’s divorce details have gone public. In recent court documents filed on Thursday by Demi, she not only wants support from the “Two and a Half Men” star, but she also wants him to pay her attorney’s fees in their divorce proceedings. Ashton filed for divorce in December, more than a year after Demi announced that the marriage was over.

The California court has tremendous discretion in setting alimony or spousal support .Generally, under California law, whatever you acquire together, whether it is a dollar or $100 million dollars, you split it in half. It seems that Demi is alleging that Ashton made significantly more than she during their marriage.

What would happen if the two lived and divorced in Indiana?

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