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Low-Cost Legal Assistance and Self Help Tools in Dane County : Family Law

A list of legal assistance agencies and clinics in Dane County, WI. Organized by area of law.

Case Mediation Program

Post Office Box 44008
Madison, WI 53744-4008
Phone: (608) 848-1950
Fax: (608) 848- 9266
Email:law@dcba.net
 

Legal Assistance - Volunteer attorneys mediate civil and family law cases (financial issues only) filed in Dane County Circuit Court through voluntary or court ordered mediation.

Eligibility - Open to all parties with litigation pending in the Dane County Circuit Court.

Costs - Filing fee for mediation is $75.00 per party

Contact - law@dcba.net

Staff - Volunteer attorneys who are members of Dane County Bar Assocation.

Publication - Web site - https://www.dcba.net/content/case-mediation-program

Dane County Family Court Services

Dane County Courthouse
Room 2030
215 S. Hamilton Street
Madison, WI 53703-3282
Phone: (608) 266-4607

Legal Assistance - provides Dane County residents with mediation and evaluation services to assist in resolving custody and physical placements disputes in both divorce and paternity cases. Custody concerns decision making powers while physical placement concerns where the child(ren) spends time. In addition to these services, FCCS also offers a resource book available for $3.00, which further explains the Family Court system.

Eligibility - Dane county residents

Costs - No fees initially, but there may be costs later on in the mediation process.

Contact - Phone: (608) 266-4607; additional contact information on the Contact Us page of the website

Staff -  staffed by a director, two administrative staff people, and six family court counselors. All Family Court Counselors have completed mediation training, had prior clinical experience with families, and obtained at least a Master's degree in the behavioral sciences

Publications - Web site - https://familycourtservices.countyofdane.com/
Dane County Family Resource Booklet (available free online) - https://familycourtservices.countyofdane.com/documents/PDFs/FC-ResourceBooklet.pdf

Dane County Law Library

215 South Hamilton St.
Room L1007
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-6316
Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 to 4:30

Legal Assistance - DCLRC serves the legal information needs of judges, attorneys, and the general public by providing reference and research assistance, training, and forms sales and distribution. The Center also assists the Dane County Sheriff's Department with providing legal information to inmates of the Dane County Jail. Borrowing privileges are available to court staff, licensed attorneys, federal, state, and city government agency employees. Borrower cards obtained at DCLRC can also be used at the Wisconsin State Law Library. . DCLRC reference staff can help users in the library or answer questions via phone, mail, or email. Resource Center staff cannot give legal advice but can refer users to other local agencies who can offer legal assistance.

Eligibility - Judges, attorneys and the general public.

Costs - No costs, except for legal forms that are available for purchase or for document delivery.

Contact - Bob Lopez, Reference/Outreach Services Librarian.

Staff - Two librarians.

Publications -

Website at: http://wilawlibrary.gov/about/locations.html
Low-Cost Legal Assistance In Dane County - https://wilawlibrary.gov/topics/countylinks/dclegalassist.pdf
Dane County Family Court Resource Booklet: https://familycourtservices.countyofdane.com/documents/PDFs/FC-ResourceBooklet.pdf

Domestic Abuse Intervention Services

2102 Fordem Avenue
Madison, WI 53704

Phone: (608) 251-1237

Email: info@abuseintervention.org
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
[Crisis lines open 24 hours : (608) 251-4445; 1-800-747-4045; daisies.1977@gmail.com]

 

Legal Assistance- Advocacy, accompaniment to court hearings and attorney referral for domestic abuse victims who are involved in divorce and custody cases, charged with crimes which may be related to domestic abuse, or seeking restraining orders

Eligibility - Dane County victims of domestic violence and their children.

*If you live outside of Dane County, you can call 1-800-799-SAFE to be connected with a program near you.

Costs - Free services

Contact - Ask to speak to a legal advocate.

Staff - Two full time and one part time legal advocates. Not attorneys.

Publications - Web site - http://www.abuseintervention.org; or specifically, visit the Legal Help Page
Numerous brochures dealing with various aspects of domestic abuse. Call for details.

Family Law Assistance Center

Assembly Room L-1000 of the Dane County Courthouse
215 South Hamilton Street
Madison, Wisconsin 53703
Phone: (608) 262-2030
Email : ldshear@facstaff.wisc.edu
Hours: Wednesday 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Spanish speaking assistance will be offered on the 1st and 3rd Wed. of each month.

Legal Assistance - Dane County Bar Association Program offers: information, forms, and limited legal advice may be provided but no legal representation is available. 

Eligibility - Unrepresented family law litigants. No income guidelines.

Costs - Free services

Staff - Volunteer attorneys, paralegals and law students. Spanish-speaking volunteers are available the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month.

Publications - Web site - https://www.dcba.net/content/family-law-assistance-center-flac

Family Court Clinic

Part of UW Law School Economic Justice Institute

Currently providing limited phone, zoom remote assistance, and in person appointments at the Dane County Courthouse
Phone: 608-262-2301

Legal Assistance - Law students provide legal information, forms, and guidance to unrepresented litigants under the supervision of experienced clinical faculty. Individuals can receive assistance regarding divorce and legal separation; child custody and placement; child support; maintenance; paternity; guardianship of minors; contempt and enforcement actions. Full representation is only provided in a few cases that are referred to FCC by other agencies

Assistance provided includes: 

  • Provide the information and forms you need to complete your case;
  • Review the forms for accuracy and completeness;
  • Help you organize your information;
  • Help you understand court rules and procedures, and;
  • Provide the information you need to make it through every step of your case.

Eligibility - People with limited incomes involved in a case filed in Wisconsin.

Costs - Free services

Contact - Phone: 608-262-2301; appointments can also be requested online at their website under the "How do I get Help from the FCC" tab

Staff - Law students under the supervision of Jennifer Binkley, director and clinical assistant professor at the UW-Law School.

Publications -- Web Site - https://law.wisc.edu/eji/familycourt/

Legal Action of Wisconsin

744 Williamson Street
Suite 200
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 855-947-2529
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.*

Legal Assistance - Legal services in many areas. See https://www.legalaction.org/services
for more information.

Eligibility - Low income individuals and families. 

Costs - Free services for qualified, income-eligible persons. See https://www.legalaction.org/services/client-income-eligibility-guidelines

Contact - 855-947-2529

Staff - Attorneys and paralegals

Publication - Web site - http://www.legalaction.org/

Note* - Walk in service, but times of service vary depending on the type of assistance that is needed.

Legal Assistance to Institutionalized Persons

Frank J. Remington Center
University of Wisconsin Law School
975 Bascom Mall, Room 4318
Madison, WI 53703-2208
Phone: (608) 262-1002
Email: fjrc@law.wisc.edu
Hours: Monday - Friday 7:45 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Legal Assistance - Civil legal services to inmates as part of a UW Law School clinical program including: Inmates in minimum-security institutions in the Wisconsin Prison System; Inmates in county jails in Wisconsin; Patients in mental health centers in Wisconsin, including the Wisconsin Resource Center; Inmates in prisons or jails outside of Wisconsin; Individuals on probation or parole supervision; or Any individuals who are not incarcerated.

Eligibility - Prisoners in maximum or medium-security prisons and prisoners in the federal prison at Oxford, Wisconsin. Inmates seeking assistance from LAIP must complete an "interview/information request form" (form # DOC-643) available at the particular institution. Inmates are scheduled for interviews on a "first come, first served" basis, and should bring relevant documents to the interview if possible. LAIP may decline to interview inmates who have already been assisted.

Costs - Free services

Contact - fjrc@law.wisc.edu

Staff - UW law students under supervision of faculty. 

Publications - Information available on a sub page of the UW Law School's web site at http://www.law.wisc.edu/FJR/laip/index.htm.

Outreach, Inc.

600 Williamson Street
Madison, WI 53703-3588
(608) 255-8582
Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00am-9:00pm; Saturday 12:00pm-4pm
Email: harrys@lgbtoutreach.org

Legal Assistance - Discrimination and family issues surrounding LGBT families

Eligibility -LGBT people and their families.

Staff - Includes counselors and pro bono attorneys.

Publications: Website at http://lgbtoutreach.org/

Wisconsin Court System Self Help Family Web Site

https://www.wicourts.gov/services/public/selfhelp/divorce.htm

Web site designed to assist those proceeding pro se in a divorce or legal separation. Includes a freely available set of standardized family court forms.