52nd Judicial Circuit Court-Family Division

Office of the Friend of the Court

What is SMILE?

 

SMILE – Start Making It Livable for Everyone – is an education program for separating/divorcing parents with children under the age of 18. 

 

SMILE provides information to help parents better understand the effects of divorce and separation.  It assists parents to understand the needs of their children.  It helps parents learn what they can do to create a nurturing and safe environment so their children can recover from the divorce or separation and feel good about themselves.

 

This program also provides an overview of Friend of the Court services. 

 

 

Why is SMILE important?

 

Divorce or separation is a process in which children have no control.  Children should not become its victims.  When parents are under stress, it is harder to be in touch with their children’s pain and anguish.  It takes time, effort, and planning on the part of parents to be able to provide for children’s needs.

 

In the crisis of divorce or separation, parents may put their children on hold while they attend to adult problems first.  Sometimes separating/divorcing parents find their roles and expectations are undefined and cloudy.  If handled properly, divorce or separation need not be devastating for children.

 

SMILE – Start Making It Livable for Everyone – helps to soften the blows of divorce or separation.

 

 

Where and When?

 

All parties in newly filed domestic relations cases including family support and paternity cases will be ordered by the Court to attend the SMILE program.  Domestic cases appearing on the docket post-judgment may also be ordered by the Court to attend the SMILE program if the parties have not previously completed the program. 

 

Each party will receive an order from the Court with information for SMILE program. 

 

This program is free and each attending party will receive a certificate of attendance from the Court.

 

 

Location and Time:

 

SMILE program is available online 24/7.

 

In the event a party does not have internet access, he or she may contact the Friend of the Court office to make alternate arrangements for completion. 

 

 

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