Located in Carmel, Harden Jackson LLC serves a number of Carmel-based clients. The attorneys at Harden Jackson focus solely in the family law arena. Family law has what many people see as two “areas”: On the one hand, family law is broadly construed to include divorce, child custody, and pre- and postnuptial agreements. Adoption, surrogacy, and assisted reproductive law comprise the other area of family law. Attorneys at Harden Jackson focus in each of these areas, as well as child support, property division, paternity, post-divorce modifications, and simple wills; attorneys within the firm have experience with both litigation as well as alternative dispute resolution. Brief descriptions of some of these practice areas are listed below.
Collaborative Law: Collaborative law provides an opportunity to reach an agreement without court intervention. This process allows both parties (and their attorneys) to come together in an attempt to settle, and comes with a number of benefits not applicable to litigation. Parties to collaborative law enjoy heightened privacy in regards to their personal legal matters; they also retain the ability to have increased control over their case as it progresses. This is a popular course with family law cases due to their personal nature, as well as the effects of these cases on family relations.
Divorce: Attorneys represent all sides of divorce disputes, and can walk clients through all steps required by the courts. In Indiana, divorce is commonly referred to as “dissolution of marriage,” and is initiated by filing a Petition for Dissolution. The parties and their legal representatives will walk through multiple steps before the court enters a Final Decree of Dissolution.
Child Custody: Custody can be determined by the court, or based on an agreement between the family members. It is determined based primarily on the best interests of the child; this is configured by taking into consideration the age and gender of the child, the child’s wishes, the wishes of the rest of the family, as well as many other factors. A parent’s future actions with his or her child may be determined by the custody arrangement.
Paternity/Father’s Rights: Indiana law dictates that the husband of a woman giving birth is the child’s legal father. This leads to questions of legal paternity when a child is born to unmarried individuals (or one unmarried individual). The law allows for the process of establishing paternity between a child and his or her father; this process will differ based on the extenuating circumstances of each case.
Adoption: There are many ways to adopt a child, and the legal ramifications differ with each method. For example, adoptions can take place between family members, stepparents, or unknown persons; they can be arranged privately or through an agency; and they can take place either domestically or abroad. Each scenario will require different steps to be taken, paperwork to be filled out, and different legal processes.
Surrogacy and Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART): The law as it pertains to reproduction varies considerably by state. Gestational surrogacy provides a reproductive alternative in which a surrogate becomes pregnant (with genetic material that is not her own) intending to give the child to the intended parents. Assisted reproductive technologies serve the same function- providing a way for couples unable to conceive on their own to create a child. There are legal risks and ramifications for each of these options, be that in the form of donor egg/sperm contracts, establishing parentage, and others.
Please do not hesitate to contact us at our Carmel location should you wish to schedule an initial consultation regarding any of these matters.