SMILE

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.

Where and When 

Due to COVID-19, SMILE classes will only be offered online for the coming months until groups can safely gather again in the Justice Center.  The online class can now be taken at any time 24/7 at your convenience.

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. The Order contains the same instructions as those found below unless you received an order before the SMILE curriculum was available online. If you have an older order with instructions to take the class in person or by Zoom on a given date, please be assured that the online class explained below will satisfy the requirements of the SMILE Order.


Please follow the steps below to complete all requirements and to confirm and receive credit from the Court for having attended the SMILE class as ordered by the Court.

1. Calhoun Video: Please click on the link below to access a 45-minute video that contains a presentation by Calhoun County Friend of the Court about both S.M.I.L.E. and a brief FOC orientation.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOIWFHMSsy0
2. Statewide SMILE Video: Please click on the link below to access a 40-minute video of the full S.M.I.L.E. curriculum at the statewide MiChildSupport website: https://micase.state.mi.us/micaseapp/public/partnerTools.html
3. Provide your name, email, docket number: At the conclusion of the Statewide SMILE video, wait for the video and credits to end. Only when the video has fully played will the website allow you to enter your information to notify Calhoun County Friend of the Court that you have completed your requirement to attend the class. You must enter your full name (which should match exactly the name on the caption in this divorce matter), docket number for this case, and a valid email address. Choose Calhoun from the drop-down list of counties.
4. Certificate of Completion: You will receive confirmation from Calhoun County Friend of the Court using the email address you provide. This email will confirm that you will receive credit for your attendance in your court file. You will also be contacted via the provided email if there are questions about matching your name to your docket number. If you fail to include an email address, there is a risk that you may not receive credit for your SMILE attendance if your information cannot be matched to a case number.


SMILE Class Handouts and Brochures

Suggested Readings
Suggested readings about children and family separation

MiChildSupport Brochure
Brochure to explain the benefits of setting up your online account to have 24/7 access to your child support case information and communicate electronically with the FOC

How to get your final order approved by the FOC
Checklists and explanations for how to get the FOC to approve your final Judgment of Divorce and Uniform Child Support Order

How to calculate child support
Link to the free calculator tool at MiChildSupport