Joan E. Champagne

Top rated Family Law attorney in Indianapolis, Indiana

White and Champagne
Joan E. Champagne
White and Champagne

Practice Areas: Family Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Estate Planning & Probate; view more

Licensed in Indiana since: 1998

Education: Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2018 - 2024

White and Champagne

5023 East 56th Street
Suite 220
Indianapolis, IN 46226 Visit website


Attorney Joan E. Champagne is a partner with White and Champagne LLC located in Indianapolis, Indiana. A highly rated attorney with nearly 23 years of legal experience, Ms. Champagne focuses her practice on family law.

Dedicated to protecting the rights and best interests of those she serves, Ms. Champagne fights hard on behalf of her clients during all aspects of the divorce process to help them reach viable agreements with matters involving child custody and support, property division, and more. She also represents clients and helps them establish parental rights through paternity.

Ms. Champagne works hard to help her clients protect themselves and their loved ones for the future while assisting them with any estate plan modifications needed as the result of divorce.

A 1990 graduate of the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, Ms. Champagne attended Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where she obtained her Juris Doctor in 1998. While in law school, she served as president for the women's caucus and received the Women's Caucus Scholarship award.  In 1998 Ms. Champagne was admitted to practice law, and she is admitted to practice in Indiana, and before the U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Indiana. She also volunteers as a guardian ad litem for Marion County and as a court-appointed special advocate for Montgomery County.  Additionally, Ms. Champagne is a registered Domestic Relations Mediator, and a Parenting Coordinator and a trained Collaborative Law Professional.

Upon receiving her license to practice, Ms. Champagne joined the Marion County Prosecutor's Office, where she advocated on behalf of domestic violence victims and their children, and she served as a deputy prosecuting attorney for Jefferson and Switzerland counties, focusing primarily on child support and juvenile law.

Ms. Champagne also served as counsel with the United Auto Workers union, assisting members with their important legal needs involving family law, divorce, estate planning and bankruptcy. Before helping to establish White and Champagne LLC, she litigated personal injury cases for Liberty Mutual Insurance.

Active in her legal community, she is a member of the Indianapolis Bar Association, the Indiana State Bar Association and the Hamilton County Bar Association.

Practice areas

Family Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Estate Planning & Probate

Focus areas

Child Support, Custody & Visitation, Dissolution, Divorce, Estate Planning, Father's Rights, Mediation, Name Change, Paternity, Power of Attorney, Same Sex Family Law, Wills

  • 80% Family Law
  • 10% Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • 10% Estate Planning & Probate

First Admitted: 1998, Indiana

Professional Webpage:

  • The ”alligator” is our reptilian brain, which is triggered when we are under stress, causing an emotional rather than a logical response. The reptilian brain operates in survival mode (“fight or flight”), and this can tank a mediation if anyone in the room (the parties, attorneys OR the mediator) is affected. After the CLE, I thought of some ways that we, as mediators, can establish a framework for both the parties and their counsel, to avoid the “fight or flight” and resolve their disputes at mediation. The mediation confirmation letter is the first opportunity to set the stage. An attorney preparing for mediation may be so overwhelmed that one is not submitted. You might suggest that a simple email or even a phone call will suffice for a mediation statement, which benefits both the mediator and counsel. Another idea is to state your approach for attendance by non-parties (in family law cases, relatives or significant others) in order to avoid any mediation day “fights.” For instance, require the parties to agree ahead of time to any non-parties being present or the non-party will not be allowed to attend. Finally, it is not uncommon for mediators to be told on the date of mediation that either a party or an attorney (or both) has to leave the mediation early. One way to curb this potential “flight” is by requiring that you be informed in advance of the mediation date as to any time constraints, and that mediation may need to be rescheduled if a constraint does not allow sufficient time for the mediation to proceed. Busy attorneys may gloss over the letter, so it is a good idea to state your protocols at the beginning of the letter, preferably in bold. Other ways to avoid the “fight or flight” mode: Acknowledge the “alligator” in the room, and redirect unproductive conduct by focusing on moving forward (positive outcomes) Offer snacks/lunch, and beverages (non-alcoholic) And when all else fails, suggest a walk or some other way to “step back” and decompress., The Alligator in the Room: Avoid "Fights and Flights" During Mediation, Indianapolis Bar Association
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Conference nameTitleDate Speaker, Applied Professionalism Seminar Attorney Civility: Perspectives from the Benches and the Trenches 2015 Professional Responsibility in Action: Ethical Considerations when Handling Email and Social Media as Attorneys Ask an Attorney Panel 2015 Judge, Marion County Prosecutor's Office Trial Advocacy Training Trial Advocacy 2013 Speaker, Why Lincoln Was a Lawyer Why Lincoln Was a Lawyer 2012 Speaker, Indiana Kids Election Day Indiana Kids Election 2012 Judge, Client Counseling Competition, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Client Counseling 2012 Panelist, Law Practice Management Program, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Client Intake and Contracts 2011; Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law and Indiana State Bar Association Women in the Law Division Lady Justice Program, 2016.
Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • Registered Domestic Relations Mediator
  • Collaborative Law Professional training, 2020
  • Parenting Coordinator, 2018
Educational Background:
  • Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law Law JD - Juris Doctor 1998 Indiana University-Bloomington Business BS - Bachelor of Science 1990
  • Women's Caucus Scholarship award
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Volunteer, 317 Run, 2018
  • Participant, Fabulous Night Out, Benefitting Trinity Haven, 2022
  • Volunteer, 4th Annual Jeff Deeter Memorial Classic Golf Tournament, 2018
  • Volunteer, 5th Annual Jeff Deeter Memorial Classic Golf Tournament, 2019
  • Volunteer, KidsVoice Monday Night Madness, 2018
  • Volunteer, Taste of Hancock County, 2015
  • Volunteer, Inspiring Abilities Expo, 2015
  • Volunteer, Inspiring Abilities Expo, 2016
  • Montgomery County Youth Services Bureau, Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA)
  • FUSE (Families United For Support and Encouragement), Greenfield, IN Board Member 2014 - 2016
  • KidsVoice, Guardian Ad Litem (GAL)
  • Mock Trial Judge, Hamilton County, 2018
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Judge, 2021 Hamilton County Mock Trial Competition, 2021
  • Guardian Ad Litem, KidsVoice, 2023
  • Presenter at CLE for the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic.  Topic: Assisting Vulnerable Litigants, 2022
  • Guardian Ad Litem, KidsVoice., 2022
  • Guardian Ad Litem, KidsVoice., 2021
  • Judge, 2022 Hamilton County Mock Trial Competition., 2022
  • Indianapolis Bar Association Professionalism Committee , 2022
  • Chair, Indianapolis Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Executive Committee , 2021
  • Judge, Hamilton County Mock Trial Competition, 2020
  • Indianapolis Bar Association Fall Mediation Day, Volunteer Mediator, 2018
  • Pro Bono Mediator, 2018
  • Judge, Indiana High School Mock Trial Semifinals and State Finals, 2019
  • Mediator, Modest Means Mediation Program, 2022
  • Indianapolis Bar Association Spring Mediation Day, Volunteer Mediator, 2019
  • Indianapolis Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Executive Committee member, 2018-; Indianapolis Bar Association Mentor Match Program, committee member and participant, 2016 to present; Indiana State Bar Association Indiana Kids Election Committee member, 2014 to present; Indiana State Bar Association Solo and Small Firm Planning Committee Member, 2014 to present; Hamilton County Bar Association, member 2015 - Present;  Indianapolis Bar Association, Women and the Law Division member, 2016 to present; Indianapolis Bar Association Professionalism Committee, member 2015 - Present; Indiana State Bar Association Chair, Public Relations Committee 2014 - 2017; Indiana State Bar Association Court House Art Committee member, 2012 - Present; Indianapolis Bar Association Publicity Committee member 2010 - 2014; Sagamore Inn of Court Barrister 2010 - 2015; Indiana State Bar Association Public Relations Committee member, 2010 - Present; Hancock County Bar Association Member 2010 - 2012; Indiana State Bar Association Family & Juvenile Law section member 1998 - Present; Indianapolis Bar Association Family Law Section member 1998 - Present.

Office location for Joan E. Champagne

5023 East 56th Street
Suite 220
Indianapolis, IN 46226

Phone: 317-259-9480


7 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2018 - 2024

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