Lattice mismatch strain between films and substrates causes stresses in each and degrades the film quality. Compliant substrates can decrease the stresses and dislocation density in the film. A particular type of compliant substrate, which consists of a thin template, a handle wafer and a glass interlayer, is discussed here. Three-dimensional axisymmetric finite element models were developed to simulate the film-substrate structure and analyze stress generation and relaxation. The materials of film and template were considered as elastic but the glass interlayer was viscoelastic at the film growth temperature. Factors affecting stress generation and relaxation are reported.