Waukesha County

Contempt Guide

This packet is used to seek assistance from the court if the other party has violated or not followed a court order or judgment related to any matter except physical placement of a minor child.  If the violation is related to physical placement, please use the  Motion to Enforce Physical Placement packet.

You are encouraged to seek some legal assistance to verify that these forms are the most appropriate for your situation.  The Family Division staff cannot give legal advice, but they can review forms for completeness and answer basic procedural questions.

Procedural Checklist

Getting a Court Date

    1. Complete the Affidavit for Finding of Contempt (FA-4172VA) and Order to Show Cause for Finding of Contempt (FA-4172VB). (When filing a Motion that includes Property Division please indicate this on the Motion)
    2. Come to the Family Division between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday, to have your form(s) reviewed for completeness.
    3.  Make three (3) additional copies (4 if the State is a party). You can make your own copies in the Family Division for $.25 per page on the coin-operated copier.  Please bring cash as it accepts $1, $5, $10 bills and coins only.
    4. Go to the customer service window of the Family Division Office.  The clerks will:
      • Collect the original form, and copies.
      • Assign you a court date.
      • Return the appropriate number of copies to you.

Caution! You may have to wait for court staff to obtain a court official’s signature.  For best results, avoid the early morning, lunch hour, and late afternoons.

Notifying the Other Party (Service)

    1. Give the other party(ies) notice of the hearing by having him/her served with the Affidavit for Finding of Contempt (FA-4172VA), Order to Show Cause for Finding of Contempt (FA-4172VB) and the Income and Expense Statement (FA-4138).    See the  Service Packet for options and procedural instructions.


      The other party(ies) must be personally served with the forms no later than five (5) business days before the date of the hearing. 
    1. Make a copy of the proof of service (Affidavit of Service or Admission of Service) for your records.  Then you must file the original with the Family Division office.  If you do not file it before your court date, you must bring the original to court on the date of the hearing.

Warning: Without proof of service, the court cannot proceed with the hearing.

NOTE:  If, for any reason, you need to cancel or postpone your court hearing, you must send a  written request to the court and all parties (including the Child Support Division, if a party).  Once the Court has made a decision, you must then notify the other party(ies) of the Court’s decision and new date, if one was assigned.

Preparing for and Going to Court

    1. Take the following items with you to court:
      • Original proof of service.
      • Original and two (2) copies (3 if the State is a party) of your completed, dated, and signed Income and Expense Statement (FA-4138) and required attachments.
      • Any other documents you think may help you make your case to the court along with copies for each party.
      • If you wish to have other people testify for you, make sure they come to court in person.  A letter from them is not acceptable. If you want to order a witness to appear you may complete the  Subpoena.
    2. Go to the correct courtroom at least 20 minutes before your assigned court time and let the bailiff or court clerk know that you have arrived (you may sit in the hall or watch court).
    3. When your case is called, present your case to the Judge/Court Commissioner:
      • Be prepared to state your side of each issue clearly and completely.
      • Be prepared to answer questions that may be asked of you by the Court or others.
      • If you wish to offer written evidence or documents to the court, give the original to the court and a copy to the other side.
      • While you are in court, use the forms you prepared as an outline to remind you of each issue you want to talk about.
    4.  The Judge/Court Commissioner will state his/her decisions/rulings to you.  Take notes because you must be able to write the ruling on a specific form called Decision and Order (FA-4176).  The court may also set another hearing for the parties to return to court.

After Court

  1. After your court hearing, complete the Decision and Order for Contempt (FA-4176) and the 5-Day Rule Letter.
  2. Come to the Family Division any time between 8:30 am and 4:00 pm, Monday through Friday, to have your form(s) reviewed for completeness.
  3. Make four (4) copies (5 if the State is a party) of the completed Decision and Order for Contempt.  You should have at least 5 sets in all. Make two (2) copies (3 if the State is a party) of the 5-Day Rule Letter.
  4. Before filing, send one copy under the 5-day rule to the other party and the State of Wisconsin, if a party.   The five-day rule gives the other party 5 days to object to the accuracy of how you have written the order, not to what happened in court.
  5. File (in person or by mail) a copy of the 5-Day Rule Letter and the original and remaining copies of the Decision and Order and two self-addressed stamped envelopes (one addressed to you, one addressed to the other party) in the Family Division Office.
  6. The court will hold the Decision and Order for Contempt for five (5) days to give the other party(s) time to review the order and object to how accurately it has been completed.  If there are no objections within the five days and the court agrees with how you have written the Decision and Order, the assigned court official will approve and send each party a signed copy.
  7.   If the other party is found to be in contempt of court, he/she may be given remedial sanctions or consequences for not complying with the original court order/judgment.  He/she may also be given a certain amount of time to comply with specific actions to stop the contempt (also known as purge terms). The court official will give you instructions as to how to proceed from the date of the hearing.  If the court does not give instructions, and the other party has not complied with the terms of the new order, you may write a letter to the court official explaining that the other party has not complied with the order and request action from the court.  You must also send a copy of the letter you wrote to the court to the other party(s).

Court Related Offices

Clerk of Circuit Court, Family Division Office
Waukesha County Courthouse, Rm C-153
515 W. Moreland Blvd.
Waukesha, WI 53188

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Available Services:

Accept Filings and Fees
Distribution of Forms, Packets, & Procedural Guides (fees may apply)
Notary Public Services
Coin-Operated Copier: $ .25/pp *Please bring cash as the copier accepts $1, $5, $10 bills and coins only.
Review of forms for completeness: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m.

Family Legal Clinic (By Appointment ONLY): Wednesdays with appointments starting at 3:00 p.m.

  • 20 minutes of free legal advice with a volunteer attorney.
  • Eligibility requirements: Individuals with a Waukesha County Case, do not have an attorney, have never utilized the Family Legal Clinic before, have family court related legal questions, and are in need of assistance. ​

Family Court Services
Waukesha County Courthouse, Rm C-345
515 W Moreland Boulevard
Waukesha, WI 53188

Office Hours: Monday -Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Available Services: Child physical placement related mediation and studies/evaluations

Waukesha County Child Support Enforcement Agency
Administration Building, Room 348
515 W. Moreland Blvd.
Waukesha WI 53188

Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.