What is SMILE?

SMILE - Start Making It Liveable for Everyone - is an educational program for separating/divorced parents with children under the age of eighteen.  It provides information to help parents better understand the effects of divorce.
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 and feel good about themselves.
It provides information to prevent destructive game-playing that is so common among divorced couples and their children. It helps parents gain problem solving skills. It lets parents know they are not alone.

Why is SMILE important? 

Divorce is a process over 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, parents may put their children on hold while they attend to adult problems first. Sometimes separating/divorced parents find their roles and expectations are undefined and cloudy. If handled properly, divorce need not be devastating for children.
SMILE - Start Making It Liveable for Everyone - helps to soften the blows of divorce.

Topics Covered

  • The Grief Process
  • How Divorce Affects Children and Parents
  • Developmental Reactions to Divorce
  • Helping Children Adjust to Divorce

Where and When 

  • A one-session, two-hour program held monthly.
  • Free
For parents who have recently filed for divorce, you will be court ordered to attend the program.  The court will send you a copy of the Order to Attend SMILE with information about the next three sessions.
For parents who have not received an invitation and plan to attend, please call the reservation line and leave your name and the message that you will be attending. 
Please reserve your seat by calling 269-781-0823 in order to ensure that there are enough materials for the class. Please leave your name and the date you will attend, along with your case number. This is a voice mailbox that is reviewed only for SMILE reservations. Any question left as a voicemail on the SMILE reservation line will not receive a return call from the FOC. If you have questions about SMILE or any other issue, you should contact the FOC at (269) 969-6500.

Sponsored By

  • 37th Judicial Circuit Court - Family Division
  • Calhoun County Friend of the Court
  • Family and Children Services
Time Location
All sessions Justice Center
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. 4th Floor Jury Assembly Room
  161 E. Michigan Avenue
  Battle Creek, MI 49014

2020 SMILE Dates

Date  Location 
Monday - January 13  Justice Center 
Monday  - February 10  Justice Center 
Monday - March 9  Justice Center 
Monday - April 13  Justice Center 
Monday  - May 11  Justice Center 
Monday - June 8  Justice Center 
Monday - July 13  Justice Center 
Monday  - August 10  Justice Center 
Monday - September 14  Justice Center 
Monday - October 12  Justice Center 
Monday-November 9  Justice Center 
Monday-December 14  Justice Center 

Online SMILE
We are piloting a program in conjunction with the Oakland County Friend of the Court to offer the SMILE program online. If you cannot attend one of the monthly sessions listed, please contact us by emailing To sign up, please leave your name, your docket or case number, whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant (this will be on your court documents), your email address and the reason you cannot attend one of the monthly sessions. Be sure to state that you are asking to participate in the online SMILE program.

Your information will be forwarded to Oakland County and once your password is set up, you will receive an email from them with a link to follow.

If you don't live in Calhoun County and would like to participate in the County where you reside, contact your local FOC and ask for details on their program. A list of FOC contact numbers can be found here.