Legal Settlements 2016-12-07T09:01:51+00:00
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Legal Settlements

  • The “legal settlement” laws of Indiana determine the school corporation in which a student is entitled to attend. Generally, a student’s legal settlement is in the district where the parent(s) reside(s). By “parent,” the law means: 1) the biological or adoptive father or mother of a child; 2) the court-appointed guardian or custodian where custody of the child has been awarded in a court proceeding to someone other than the mother or father; or 3) where the parents of a child are divorced, the parent to whom the divorce decree or modification thereof awards custody or control.
  • There are situations in which someone other than the parent, as defined above, is the custodian of the student and thus whose residence determines the student’s legal settlement. These include, but are not limited to the following:
  • Even though a court decree awards custody to one parent, the parents can agree, outside of court, that legal settlement is with the other parent (the student needs to be living with this other parent). The parent agreement is obtained through the notarized completion of Form 1, provided by the State of Indiana. It is necessary to complete this form at the Student Services Department, J. C. Rice Educational Services Center, 2720 California Road, Elkhart, Indiana 46514. For inquiries, call 574-262-5540.
  • If the custodial parent desires placement of the child in the school district in which the non-custodial parent resides, this arrangement needs to be made at least 14 days prior to the start of a new school year. This agreement is obtained through the notarized completion of Form 3, provided by the State of Indiana. It is necessary to complete this form at the Student Services Department, J. C. Rice Educational Services Center, 2720 California Road, Elkhart, Indiana 46514. For inquiries, call 574-262-5540.
  • If the parents are divorced or separated and there is no custodial decree, then the legal settlement is where the parent with whom the child is living resides, either with or without agreement of both parents.
  • If there has been a custodial decree, but the custodial parent has abandoned the student, then the legal settlement is with the other parent.
  • If the student is being supported and cared for by a third party custodian, having been abandoned by or placed there by the parent(s), then the legal settlement is with the third party custodian. Third party custodianship is obtained through the notarized completion of Form 2, provided by the State of Indiana, and available in the Department of Student Services. It is necessary to complete this form at the Student Services Department, J. C. Rice Educational Services Center, 2720 California Road, Elkhart, Indiana 46514. For inquiries, call 574-262-5540.
  • I f the student is married, then the legal settlement is in the school corporation where the student and the student’s spouse reside.
  • If the student is emancipated, the legal settlement of the student is the student’s place of residence. Emancipation of a student requires that the student:
    • Furnishes his/her support from his/her own residence
    • Is not dependent in any material way on the student’s parent(s) for help
    • Files or is required by applicable law to file a separate tax return, and
    • Maintains a residence separate from that of the student’s parent(s) or
    • Has been emancipated through court order
  • If the student is in foster placement, the student is entitled to attend the school corporation in which the foster parent(s) reside(s).
  • Any legal guardianship or custodianship established solely for the purpose of attending school in a particular school corporation does not affect the determination of legal settlement.
  • It is important to contact the Department of Student Services whenever there is a question of a student’s legal settlement.