Oakland County Friend of the Court recognizes that attending the mandatory SMILE program can be difficult for service members who may be deployed or parents living out of state.

A recent article in Laches, the Oakland County Bar Association monthly magazine, cites a new on-line service available for families going through divorce, custody, paternity, or support cases in Oakland County. The county requires all parents of minor children who are divorcing or involved in a privately filed paternity, custody, or support case to attend the SMILE (Start Making It Livable for Everyone) program. This educational program is a one hour session conducted at the Friend of the Court building.

The SMILE program is designed to assist parents to better understand how conflict existing between them affects their children, and attempts to provide guidance on how to communicate on a positive level and to appropriately make decisions about the minor children involved in a legal action such as a divorce.

The Friend of the Court has recognized that attending this program in person can be difficult if a parent is an active member in the service currently deployed or a parent living out of state, and they are now allowing an on-line attendance of this program. The program is similar to the live SMILE program but has an interactive component to ensure the parties are actively engaged in the computer based program.

Will attending this program on-line be made available to others as well? We will post more information as it becomes available from Friend of the Court.