Family Court Commissioner

 

Contents

About

Forms and Instructions

Resources

Mediation Service

Pro Se Divorce

Parenting Class

Child Dependency Exemption and Child Tax Credits

Contact

 

 

About

This site has resources for people appearing in Iowa County Family Court cases. You will find links to other sites organized together on the Links Page.

 

- This site is provided as a public service by Family Court Commissioner Timothy B. McKinley.
- If you need legal advice, please consult an attorney.
- The information provided at this site is general information, not legal advice.
- The information provided at this site is not a substitute for legal advice.
- By law, the Family Court Commissioner and staff cannot give you legal advice.
- We make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to this web site.
- While you can appear in family court without an attorney, an attorney's help may:
     - Improve your chances of getting what you want in your case;
     - Prevent future misunderstandings;
     - Save you time and money by making sure things are done right the first time.

 

The Family Court Commissioner is part of the judicial branch. The mission of this office is to promote the stability and best interest of marriage and the family. This is the mandate of the Wisconsin Family Code, Chapter 767 and is a task that is basic to the health and well-being of our entire society. A number of assumptions about what actually is in the best interests of a marriage or a family are incorporated into the Wisconsin statutes such as:


- Either spouse should be able to end a marriage without having to prove any particular reason.
- Children have a right to a meaningful and appropriate relationship with both of their parents.
- Parents have a duty to financially support their children.
- Parties should try to resolve their family problems between themselves before a court should decide.


The Family Court Commissioner serves as Director of Family Court Counseling Services in Iowa County, which includes the handling of referrals to mediation for parents involved in disputes regarding custody or physical placement of minor children.


In addition, the Family Court Commissioner conducts temporary hearings in divorce matters. The Family Court Commissioner has authority to make orders in the divorce on a temporary basis. The word "temporary," as it is used here, means until there is a final order of the court. The "Temporary Order" may include the following: custody of the children, who shall be awarded the parties' assets (for example the residence and any vehicles owned by the parties), how much child support shall be paid and by whom, who shall pay the debts and obligations of the parties, and whether any additional support/maintenance shall be paid to either party.


Temporary Order Hearings and Mediation Sessions are held in the Family Court Hearing Rooms (Rooms 212 and 213) at the Iowa County Courthouse located at 222 North Iowa Street, Dodgeville, Wisconsin.


The office of the Family Court Commissioner also provides general information for "pro se" litigants: Parties who would like to have a matter heard in court without the assistance of any attorney.

 

 

Forms and Instructions

A.  Wisconsin Court System free online divorce/separation forms

This link contains a listing of over 40 Wisconsin family court forms.  Scroll through the list to find the form/forms that you need.  Click the underlined form link in the view and/or save column of the form using either the Word or PDF Format. Word documents can be filled in online and then printed.  PDF forms require Adobe Acrobat Reader and are not fillable forms.  The PDF forms must be downloaded on your printer as a blank form and hand-printed or typewritten.  Clicking the underlined summary link will give you additional information about the form itself.

 

 

B.  Family Law Forms Assistant

The family law forms assistant guides you through the process of filing for divorce or legal separation, from starting the action to the final hearing. By answering a series of questions, this interactive site will help you fill out necessary forms, print blank forms, or download a basic guide to divorce or legal separation for your county.

 

 

C.  Wisconsin Court System Self Help Center

The Self-Help Center is intended to help you find legal assistance and information.  This site does not provide legal advice.

 

 

D.  Online Post-Judgment Forms Commonly Used in Iowa County:

Stipulation & Order to Amend Judgement for Support/Maintenance/Custody/Placement

Summary 

 

Petition to Enforce Physical Placement Order

Summary

 

Notice of Hearing to Enforce Physical Placement

Summary

 

Order to Enforce Physical Placement

Summary

 

Request for Mediation

 

Order to Show Cause and Affidavit for Finding of Contempt

PDF Version:   http://wicourts.gov/forms/FA-4172.PDF

Word Version:  http://wicourts.gov/forms/FA-4172.DOC

      

Decision and Order for Contempt

PDF Version:  http://wicourts.gov/forms/FA-4176.PDF

Word Version:  http://wicourts.gov/forms/FA-4176.DOC

        

Notice of Motion and Motion to Change

PDF Version:    http://wicourts.gov/forms/FA-4170.PDF

Word Version:  http://wicourts.gov/forms/FA-4170.DOC

Form Information:  http://wicourts.gov/forms/FA-4170S.PDF

 

Order to Show Cause and Affidavit for Change

PDF Version:  http://wicourts.gov/forms/FA-4171.PDF

Word Version:  http://wicourts.gov/forms/FA-4171.DOC

Form Information:  http://wicourts.gov/forms/FA-4171S.PDF

 

Decision and Order on Motion/Order to Show Cause for Change

PDF Version:  http://wicourts.gov/forms/FA-4175.PDF

Word Version:  http://wicourts.gov/forms/FA-4175.DOC

 

 

E. Service of Process Information

PDF Version: http://wicourts.gov/forms/FA-5000.PDF

 

 

F. Name Change Forms and Information:

Free Downloadable Forms 

More information   Please use this link to the Wisconsin State Law Library website for more information on Name Change.

 

 

G.  Dane County, Wisconsin Family Court Forms:

http://countyofdane.com/clrkcort/prepare/formFamily.aspx

Forms included at this link are Divorce, Legal Separation, Annulment, Paternity, and other miscellaneous forms.  The Word version of these forms can be changed to insert Iowa County information where necessary.  Most of the forms will be acceptable in Iowa County, but because procedures vary from county to county, portions of the instructions may not be applicable.

 

 

Resources

The World Wide Web contains many other resources relating to practice in the Family Court Branch of the Iowa County Circuit Court.  A few of these resources are listed below.  The listing of any site on this page is not an endorsement of that site by Iowa County or the Family Court Commissioner's Office. 

 

Please note that any unauthorized downloading and distribution of any copyrighted material from sites to which we link, without the copyright owner's permission, is strictly prohibited.

 

Wisconsin Court System Self Help Center

State Bar of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Circuit Court Access (CCAP)

Wisconsin State Law Library

Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc.

Wisconsin Statutes and Annotations

Bureau of Child Support Website

 

Form packets for beginning a divorce action may be available from the following sources:

 

Iowa County Clerk of Court

222 N. Iowa St.

Dodgeville, WI 53533

Phone - (608) 935-0395

 

Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc.

31 South Mills Street

PO Box 259688

Madison, WI  53725

(608) 256-3304

 

Pro Se, Inc.

16 S. River St.

Janesville, WI  53546

(608) 757-2922

 

Family Law Education, Inc.

111 King Street, Suite 23

Madison, WI  53703-3133

(608) 257-7744

 

Pro Se of Wisconsin, LLC

6070 Trillium Lane

Sturgeon Bay, WI  54235

(800) 288-2802

 

 

We do not make any representations as to the quality or accuracy of the forms or services provided by the above organizations.

 

 

Mediation Service

The State of Wisconsin has enacted legislation which establishes a mediation service for parents who are involved in family court matters.  Through this program, individuals certified with mediation skills are appointed to assist parents in the resolution of issues arising out of their marital relationship.  The program was primarily established for the resolution of custody and placement issues. By statute, child support issues are not to be mediated unless both parties sign a premediation agreement which lists child support as an approved issue for discussion.  Only properly certified individuals can be appointed by the Court to assist parents in this mediation process.

 

The Family Court Branch of the Iowa County Circuit Court administers its mediation through the office of the Family Court Commissioner.  Those parents needing assistance in the resolution of these issues must be involved in an ongoing pending family court case or have a judgment or order entered in such a case by the Iowa County Circuit Court.  At least one of the parties must sign and file an application or request for mediation with the Family Court Commissioner.  The standardized application entitled "Request for Mediation" can be used. (This form is also found on the "Forms and Instructions" section of this website.)  The request does not have to be submitted on the standardized form, but the request must ask for mediation and must include the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the parties as well as a signature of one of the parties and the date signed.  E-mail and facsimile requests are not acceptable.

 

Once a request for mediation has been received by the Family Court Commissioner, a date and time for the mediation will be established with one of the mediators and notices will be mailed out to the parties by regular mail.  Attendance at the mediation session is mandatory and mediations will only be rescheduled with the approval of the mediator.

 

If the parties reach an agreement, the terms of the agreement are put in writing and are established as the order of the Court after the agreement has been approved by the Judge.  If no agreement is reached, the Family Court Commissioner notifies the Court that one or both of the parties have the right to start a court action in an effort to get a decision from the Judge.

 

Iowa County will pay $100.00 of the fees for the first mediation session.  Any amounts charged by the mediator over $100.00 are usually split equally between the parties.

 

If you or someone you know needs further information concerning the Iowa County Circuit Court Mediation Service, contact the Iowa County Family Court Commissioner as follows:

 

Timothy B. McKinley

Iowa County Family Court Commissioner

209 North Iowa Street, P.O. Box 169

Dodgeville, Wisconsin 53533-0169

(608) 935-2042

 

 

Pro Se Divorce

A.  Moving On: A Guide to Pro Se Divorce

Today, half of all marriages end in divorce.  Some people who find themselves facing this difficult and potentially painful process cannot afford to hire an attorney.  Others do not want to pay an attorney.  For these pro se litigants, navigating the divorce process can be overwhelming.

 

The Dane County Bar Association has recently produced three videos designed to provide pro se litigants with an overview of the divorce process.  The videos also offer guidance about when proceeding without an attorney may not be advisable.

 

Video One – Moving On:  A Guide to Pro Se Divorce


Video Two – Moving On:  Your Divorce Trial


Video Three – Moving On:  Custody & Placement

 

All three of these videos are now available on You Tube.  Please click on the following link to watch the videos on your computer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjxygmlo11A&list=PL82C616DAF8B88A8D

 

B.  Free Online Pro Se Divorce Forms

Please click on "Forms and Instructions" for links to two resources for free online forms.  Other options for obtaining forms are located in the "Links to Resources" section of this website.  Paper forms for beginning a divorce may be available at the Iowa County Clerk of Circuit Court’s office located in the Iowa County Courthouse.

 

C.  Documents Needed for Pro Se Divorce Proceedings

After the divorce petition is filed and both parties are proceeding without an attorney representing them, (and the 120 day waiting period is over), the following documents are needed:

 

  • Form No. FA-4139  - Financial Disclosure Statement for both parties. Each party must also include tax returns as filed for the last year and this year’s earnings record to date.

 

  • Form FA-4150 or 4151  - Marital Settlement Agreement.  This is to be completed by parties. Both parties must sign this.  Bring the original and 3 copies to the hearing. If there are minor children involved, the Child Support Investigator must review the document  and sign it prior to the hearing.

 

  • Form FA-4160 or 4161 - Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law and Judgment.  This is to be completed by parties and brought to the final hearing.  Bring the original and 3 copies to the hearing.

 

  • Vital Statistics form.  Obtain from the clerk.  This is to be filled out on the final hearing date and given to the judge.

 

 

Parenting Classes

UW-Extension provides parenting classes which meet the requirements of the Iowa County Circuit Court local court rule concerning completion of family court proceedings upon verification of participation in a parenting class.

 

UW-Extension is currently holding a class which is titled "Parents Forever™: Education for Families in Divorce Transition. For information about this parenting class, please open the copy of their brochure at the link below and contact Ruth N. Schriefer of UW Extension at 608-930-9850 or by emailing ruth.schriefer@ces.uwex.edu.

 

Brochure

 

 

Child Dependency Exemption and Child Tax Credits

Review your judgment or court order before you prepare and file your income tax return and make sure you keep a copy with your income tax records. The judgment or order may include language which your tax preparer/accountant should review in order to file your returns correctly. Also, be sure to discuss these matters fully with your income tax preparer/accountant. The Internal Revenue Service and the Wisconsin Department of Revenue have rules and regulations which govern these matters and both taxing agencies have the ability to determine immediately upon filing if two individuals attempt to claim the same child for dependency purposes.  Failure to comply with the terms of your judgment or order may lead to contempt proceedings in the circuit court. Also, a party may be required to file amended income tax returns. Please keep in mind that representatives of the Child Support Office, the Clerk of Court and her deputies, and the Family Court Commissioner cannot advise you on these matters as they do not prepare income tax returns nor do they give legal or tax advice to individuals involved in family court proceedings.

 

 

Contact

209 N. Iowa St.

Dodgeville, WI 53533

(608) 935-2042