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Friend of the Court

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S.M.I.L.E. – Start Making It Livable for Everyone(A.K.A. Helping Children Cope)
          It takes time, energy, and a plan to get your family through this process.  This program is ordered by the Court. Start Making It Livable for Everyone is a video program for separating and/or divorcing parents with minor children. The video addresses creating a conflict-free zone by understanding the do's and don'ts of co-parenting, developmental issues, and positive communication when conflict exists. The program helps parents identify issues and how to resolve those issues keeping the best interests of your child(ren) in focus.
Your participation in this program is REQUIRED pursuant to a court order.    
An online version of the program is available for you below and will meet the requirements of your court order for this program.

Once you have watched the video and the Friend of the Court PowerPoint, then you can print off the questionnaire and fill in your answers.  Once the questionnaire is completed, then you can send it in by fax, email or USPS consistent with the directions on the form.

Click the link below to view the SMILE video.


Once you have viewed the S.M.I.L.E program, please complete the questionnaire(link below), and return it to your FOC office. 

S.M.I.L.E questionnaire


Mediation is generally favored by the Court. Disputed matters are often referred to mediation, if appropriate, to facilitate decision making and communication between the parents. If the parties are interested in Mediation, you should discuss this with your caseworker.

List of Court Approved Mediators

Mediation Works! Here's Why.


Our Family Wizard is a software application added to your smart phone and is used for co-parenting communication. Our Family Wizard is specifically designed to reduce the stress of managing family plans across separate households. 

As a participant in a child support or custody case you may be court ordered to use the Family Wizard
communication application or you may choose to do so voluntarily.

Visit the website for more information.

In the beginning process of a Friend of the Court case, many parties are Ordered to meet with their Friend of the Court Caseworker to discuss Custody, Parenting Time and Child Support Matters.  The purpose of the meeting is to gather information from the parties and to identify what, if anything, the parties agree to regarding the children. If the parties agree on anything regarding Custody, Parenting Time, or Child Support, it could, by consent, be entered as a Temporary Order of the Court.  Generally, parents know their child(ren) and can decide what is in the best interest.  The Early on Conference facilitates communication and decision making by the parents.
If the parents cannot agree, your case will be scheduled before the Circuit Court Referee for a hearing and recommendation to establish a temporary order.

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