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Many parties contact our helpline looking for answers. We do our best to steer people in the right direction to discovering information. Remember, the more informed you are as a client, the more you will get from an attorney. View yourself as a team with your attorney and make sure that you are not the "weak" link. Educate yourself. Many of our members and subscribers now have access to the Internet. Massive resources are available at little or no cost, just your effort and desire to learn.
The Consumer guide to Wisconsin Law , The Wisconsin Court System , and the Wisconsin State Bar site are good starting points for Wisconsin residents. These sites include Wisconsin Statutes on Family Law, legal forms, ethical opinions, court rules, and dozens of other links to legal resources.
You can get a copy of the Wisconsin Family Law Statutes - Section 767 online.
Each county also has their own court rules, defining the procedures for filing different types of cases. see county court rules.
Family Court Resource Booklet is a 44 page booklet, published by Dane County. It can be a great help to understanding the family law process in all Wisconsin counties. It is available for $2 from the Dane County Family Court Counseling Service at Room 108 Dane County City-County Building, 210 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Madison, WI 53709
The Milwaukee County Legal Resource Center, in room 307A of the Court house at 901 N 9th Street Milwaukee, WI 53233 sells a pro-se packet of forms and instructions for $14 or a wide variety of individual forms. These forms appear to be primarily applicable in Milwaukee County. Limited free assistance is also available on the 7th floor of the court house.
Waukesha County Family Court Self-Help Website. This website offers family court information and public resources, with a special focus on people representing themselves (pro se litigants).
Some counties are starting to provide some of this information on their web sites. County web sites.
Attorneys and their clients sit down at the outset of the process and agree this case will not be tried - it will be settled. If it can't be settled the lawyers involved must agree to withdraw from the case, putting their income and their reputation on the line. A collaborative law resource site. Another Wisconsin site.
For information on how to resolve family related disputes outside of the court system see alternate dispute resolution resources. (future link)
For information regarding specific issues go to the following links:
The Wisconsin Records Management Committee, in response to a mandate from the Wisconsin Judicial Conference has prepared the following new forms for use in family law proceeding in Wisconsin: These forms can be downloaded and printed from the Wisconsin Court System Family Forms web site.
1. Petition, Stipulation and Order Amending Judgment Affecting Family FA604
If you and your ex can agree on terms for modifying an existing placement or child support order, use this form.
2. Petition to Enforce Physical Placement Orders, FA-609
3. Notice of Hearing to Enforce Physical Placement Order FA-610
4. Order to Enforce Physical Placement FA-611
These forms can also be filled out and printed online.
A parenting plan form, designed by WFCF, is also available.
An extensive collection of legal forms, draft letters, and briefs is also available from http://www.WisconsinForms.com . Go to forms bank, then scroll down to Family law forms.
Finding a lawyer
On line information on finding a lawyer in your area:
Other helpful resources
FINDLAW Think of this site as Lawhoo! This massive directory and search engine is an invaluable tool for the legal professional not to mention individuals who are researching their own particular legal situations. Locate a lawyer (careful-caution) and find reviews of law related television shows. Special features such as a database of Supreme Court cases, a legal dictionary and an entertainment law section are not to be missed.
FREEADVICE.COM This is essentially an encyclopedia of legal rights and responsibilities condensed into an easy-to-use Q & A format. The site covers all of the major areas of law. Throughout the site are hotlinks to a database of lawyers (caution-beware).
LAWGURU.COM It offers powerful search engines and the Internet Law Library. Which is a catalogue of links . Direct information is available in the form of FAQ's on more than 15 topics. In the legal questions sections, visitors pick a category and state and then post a question to a local lawyer or browse previously answered questions. (Again, beware that these questions match up with the facts of your case).
None of the above substitutes for having a good attorney who you can work with as a partner. But some cannot afford an attorney and need whatever resources they can find available. Some of the above might help you out. Don't forget to use your local county and university libraries as excellent legal resources for information. The State Law Library in Madison, or Marquette University Law Library in Milwaukee are outstanding in its resources and offer clerks who happily help you out in finding materials.
If you need help, contact the Wisconsin Fathers Helpline