Unit Contact Information
Family Clerk: Faith Stewart (920) 683-4036
NOTE: Effective May 1, 2000, all post-adjudication records for paternity cases filed after May 1, 2000 are open records (after paternity has been established). Pre-adjudication paternity records are not open public records; they are confidential by statute. Access to confidential records is limited to parties of the action or counsel of record. All paternity records filed prior to May 1, 2000 are confidential (pre-adjudication and post-adjudication).
$184.50 to commence divorce or legal separation (with no children or no request for
spousal support or maintenance)
$194.50 to commence divorce or legal separation (with children or request for spousal
support or maintenance)
$ 30.00 post-judgment motion revising judgment (for child support or matters other
than custody or placement)
$ 50.00 post-judgment motion revising judgment (affecting custody or placement)
Also see Circuit Court Filing Fees for additional fees
Petition for Waiver of Fees and Costs (GF-410A) and Order on Petition for Waiver of Fees
and Costs (GF-410B) While the Court may make an initial determination of indigency as it pertains
to waiver of the filing and service fees for an action, pursuant to s.814.29(2), Wis. Stats., the Court is
authorized to reassess indigency status after the action has been filed and may require payment of
the filing fee or service fees if the petitioning party no longer meets indigency requirements. Further,
s.814.29(3)(a), Wis. Stats., provides a remedy for recovering costs from the opposing party if a
judgment is entered in favor of the party who petitioned for waiver of the fees. Upon conclusion of
an action, the Court will review any indigency status and make an appropriate determination, by
Court order, as to the requirement of payment of any fees previously waived.
Guardian Ad Litem (GAL) Resources
Confidential GAL Reports
Order Designating Guardian ad Litem (GAL) Reports as Confidential (Eff. 05-14-2014).
Addendum to Order Appointing GAL (rev. 3-13-17).
Waiver of GAL Deposit Requirement
Petition and Order for the waiver of the GAL deposit requirement. A waiver only pertains to the deposit
requirement….once a GAL submits actual billing for services rendered, the parties will be allocated
responsibility for payment of the bill by the Court. Payment plans are available to pay the balance in
monthly installments. Statutory interest will be charged on any unpaid balance until paid in full.
Petition and Order for Payment of GAL Fees (rev. 4-25-18)
Effective January 20, 2015, this form will be required for all Petitions for Payment of GAL Fees
in Manitowoc County. You can request a password protected Word fillable form from Nicole @
(920)683-4026. Payment plans are available to pay the balance in monthly installments.
Statutory interest will be charged on any unpaid balance until paid in full. The GAL billing rate
is $100.00/hr. (effective 1-1-17). IRS Form W-9 required to be on file for Comptroller to make payment.
Domestic Abuse Guidebook for Wisconsin Guardians ad Litem
Addressing Custody, Placement and Safety Issues (159 pages)
Motion and Notice for New (DeNovo) Hearing(FA-4130V) when a party wants a Judge to review a decision made by a Circuit Court Commissioner because they disagree with what the Circuit Court Commissioner decided. To request a de novo hearing, you must have attended the hearing and the decision by the Court Commissioner cannot have been the result of a stipulation you reached with the other party. The request for de novo review must be filed within 20 calendar days of the hearing, if the Court Commissioner gives an oral ruling at the hearing. If no oral ruling was made, the de novo review request must be made within 20 calendar days of when the Court Commissioner’s written order or decision was mailed. There is no fee to file a motion for de novo review.
Hearing must be held within 60 days from the filing of the motion.
Exception: Motion to relocate a child’s residence; de novo request must be filed within 10 calendar days of an oral ruling; and hearing must be held within 30 days from filing of the motion.
21 WI Act 161 – Uniform Deployed Parents Custody and Visitation Act (effective 3-12-22); created Chapter 324; for Notice of Deployment for between 30 days and 18 months; must provide notice to the other party within 7 days or as soon as reasonably possible; to temporarily modify legal custody, physical placement and/or visitation during deployment.
Motion for Temporary Deployment Custody and/or Placement Order(FA-4187V)
to motion for temporary legal custody, physical placement, visitation and/or child support during the deployment of a parent. If a motion is filed, it allows child support to be addressed. If motion filed before parent is deployed, hearing must be held within 30 days.
Temporary Deployment Custody and/or Placement Order (FA-4188V)
to order temporary legal custody, physical placement, visitation and/or child support during the deployment of a parent.
Where Does the Motion Get Filed?
•If there’s an existing case, should be filed in that case
•If no existing case, case type – FA; class code – Family Unclassified 40803
•$50.00 motion filing fee
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Agreement Granting Temporary Custodial Responsibility and/or Visitation During Deployment (FA-4189V)
Allows parties to reach a temporary agreement on legal custody, physical placement and/or visitation during the deployment of a parent. Must be signed by the parents and any nonparent receiving custody, placement or visitation rights under the agreement. Cannot modify support.
Where Does the Agreement Get Filed?
•If there’s an existing case, should be filed in that case
•If no existing case, it doesn’t get filed anywhere, parties should each have a copy
•No filing fee
* * * * * * * * * * * *
Other Documents That Can Be Filed:
•Motion to modify temporary agreement/order
•Motion to terminate temporary agreement/order
•Agreement to terminate temporary agreement
(there are not standard court forms available, but the statute contemplates that these can be filed)
Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law & Judgment
To comply with the Clerk’s statutory requirement under Wis. Stats. s.767.36, Manitowoc County’s policy
is to mail a copy of the divorce judgment to the petitioner and respondent, regardless of whether or not
the parties are e-filing parties.
2021 W Act 259 – the required annual exchange of financial information in an order for family support, child support or maintenance. (Added to Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law & Judgment 6/22)
If the child support order includes more than one child, child support does not automatically adjust when a child reaches the age of majority and is no longer eligible for child support. (Added to Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law & Judgment 6/22)
Attorney Fees Awarded in a Family Case
If an attorney is awarded attorney fees in a family case and the party does not pay as ordered, it will be
necessary for the attorney to file a new small claims or civil action in order to commence garnishment
actions for collection of those attorney fees. A garnishment can be “added” to a civil action between parties,
however, an attorney who is awarded fees is not a party to the FA action.
Child Support Information (link to Wisconsin Dept. of Children and Families On-line Services)
Manitowoc County Family Court Forms (link to Manitowoc County Family Court Commissioner’s website)
Divorce/Annulment Worksheet (F-05080)vital statistics form
Abridgement Regarding Surname (FA-4133V) certification by the court as to the right to use
a former legal surname
Service Instruction Packet (FA-5000V) describes common methods of service available and
service time limits
Service by Publication (FA-5001V) procedure to follow when using service by publication as a last resort, when personal service is not successful
Admission of Service (FA-4119V) for use when a party voluntarily admits service of documents
Affidavit of Service (FA-4120V) for use when a third party serves documents on a party
Affidavit of Mailing (FA-4121V) for use to document mail service of documents upon a party
Affidavit of Efforts to Serve Respondent (FA-4184V) for petitioner to document efforts made to serve the
respondent to justify performing service by publication
Publication Summons (FA-4122V) to provide notice by publication in a newspaper to a respondent who
cannot be served personally of the existence of an action for divorce or legal separation
Publication Affidavit of Mailing (FA-4123V) when service by publication is done as a last resort, a Publication
Affidavit of Mailing must also be mailed to the respondent at his/her last known address
Dismissal and Suspension (FA-5006V)
Procedural information to follow regarding dismissal or suspension of divorce/legal separation action
Stipulation Dismissing Divorce/Legal Separation (FA-4143VA)
Order Dismissing Divorce/Legal Separation (FA-4143VB)
Both of these forms (Stipulation and Order) are used when both parties agree to dismiss or end the pending divorce/legal separation action. If the parties choose to dismiss the action and later choose to divorce or legally separate, they must file a new action and pay the required filing fee again.
Stipulation Suspending Proceedings to Effect Reconciliation (FA-4144VA)
Order Suspending Proceedings to Effect Reconciliation (FA-4144VB)
Both of these forms (Stipulation and Order) are used when both parties agreed to suspend (put on hold) the divorce/legal separation action, for up to 90 days. If a temporary order is in effect, all orders are also suspended.
Motion to Revoke Suspension of Proceedings to Effect Reconciliation (FA-4145VA)
Order to Revoke Suspension of Proceedings to Effect Reconciliation (FA-4145VB)
Either party may request, at any time during the suspension, to end the suspension and continue/proceed with the divorce/legal separation action. Both of these forms (Motion and Order) get filed and a copy needs to be mailed to the other party. All temporary orders previously entered by the court will be reinstated.
Relocating with Minor Children (Manitowoc County FCC procedural information)
Outlines procedure for relocating minor children more than 100 miles from the other parent (for court orders entered or modified after 4-5-18)
Motion to Relocate with Minor Children (FA-4178V)
Request to relocate and establish a residence with minor child more than 100 miles from residence of other party
Objection to Relocate with Minor Children and Motion to Change Placement and/or Custody (FA-4179)
Objection to request to relocate and establish a residence with minor child ore than 100 miles from residence of other party
More Family Forms (wicourts.gov) forms are available in both PDF and Word format; also view Form Summaries for brief description of purpose and use of the form.
Manitowoc County Local Court Rules (for county specific family procedure information)
Family Self-Help Site (CCAP)
provides assistance to pro se users using an interview process to complete the forms necessary to file new family actions or to complete family forms for existing cases
FAQs (Manitowoc County FCC link)