Seal of Dane County County of Dane
Dane County Family Court Services

Frequently Asked Questions

To find a more in depth list of commonly asked questions and their answers, refer to the Dane County Family Court Resource Guide.

A shortened list of frequently asked questions can be found below. 

1. Where can I find information about my case?

Online: Wisconsin circuit court case information can be found online in the WCCA database, more commonly referred to as CCAP.

In person: You can visit Court Records (Rm 1002) between 7:45 am-4:30 pm, Monday-Friday to look at your case file. Be sure you bring your case number; there is a $5.00 search fee if you do not have your case number. Copies are $1.25 per page.

2. Do I need to notify the court if I move?

Yes. If you have a court case, whether it is ongoing or closed, you must send notice with your new address to the Clerk of Courts (Rm 1000) and the CSA (CCB Rm 365) within 10 days.

There is a Change of Address Form on the Clerk of Courts’ Other Court Forms page that can be used to report your new address and other required information to the Clerk of Courts at:

To report a new address to the Dane County CSA call (608) 266-4031 or contact your case manager.

3. How can I protect my kids from the stress of divorce?

Divorce is hard on children, but try to follow these suggestions to lessen the tension and conflict in your household:

Avoid: blaming the other parent, arguing or fighting in front of children, discussing the court proceedings when the children are at home, involving children in decision making, encouraging children to choose sides, or threatening to send the children to live with the other parent.

Work toward: answering children’s questions in an age-appropriate manner, making answers simple and clear, reassuring children that the divorce is not their fault, encouraging them to express their feelings such as fear and anger, giving them permission to continue to love both parents and not take sides, reassuring them that they will be taken care of, keeping the children’s schedules as normal and typical as possible without major or drastic changes that are unsettling, and preparing the children for changes to their family.

4. How do I change my custody, placement or support order?

There are two ways to modify an existing family court order. Which one you choose depends on whether you and the other parent agree to the changes you would like to make.

If the parties agree to the changes, they may file a “Stipulation and Order to Amend Judgment for Support/Maintenance/Custody/Placement” (Form FA-604). The court will review the proposed changes, and will usually sign the order without requiring the parties to attend a hearing.

If only one party seeks to change the judgment, that party may file the “Notice of Motion 87 and Motion to Change: Legal Custody, Physical Placement, Child Support or Spousal Maintenance” (Form FA-4170). You must meet certain legal requirements in order to change the previous court order. Usually, you must show a substantial change in circumstances since the last court order was entered.

Depending upon the change you requested, there may be other legal requirements that need to be met in order to be successful in your effort to change the order. See the sections on Changing Court Orders: Child Support and Maintenance and Changing Court Orders: Custody and Physical Placement? for more information.

5. What do I do if my ex-spouse isn’t obeying the placement order or has stopped paying support?

You may ask the court to enforce the order or find the other party in contempt of court. If you want the court to enforce a physical placement order, you can file a “Notice of Hearing and Motion to Enforce Physical Placement Order” (Form FA-609). This form can only be used to enforce a specific placement schedule.

If you have a general placement order (e.g. “periods as agreed to by mom and dad”), you will need to first ask the court to set a specific placement schedule by filing the “Motion to Set Specific Periods of Physical Placement” before you can petition the court to enforce your placement order.

If the other party is not following the terms of a current court order, you can file an “Order to Show Cause for Finding of Contempt” (Form FA-4172VB). You will also need to file an “Affidavit for Finding of Contempt” (Form FA-4172VA) and a “Decision and Order for Contempt” (Form FA-4176V). You will need to personally serve the other party with these documents.

All of these forms, as well as instructions, are available from the Dane County Law Library (Rm L1007) for a small fee or are available online at See the Enforcing Court Orders: Remedial Contempt section for additional information.

6. If we reach an agreement during the FCS study process can we stop the process?

You may be able to stop the study process by reaching an agreement and reducing it to writing in the form of a stipulation. In a divorce you can use the Marital Settlement Agreement with Minor Children form and in post judgment actions you may use the two forms for a Stipulation and Order to to modify a placement and custody order. If these forms do not meet your needs please contact the court and the FCS office in writing about your agreement.