Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE)

Early Neutral Evaluation is an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) process during which a neutral evaluator assesses the strengths and weaknesses of a case and provides feedback as to likely outcomes if the case goes to trial. Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) Resolution Services In MinnesotaAfter the evaluation process is complete, and feedback is presented, where they may choose to use the evaluator as a mediator in order to achieve settlement and fine tune the details based on their unique circumstances. This option to mediate provides individuals with an opportunity to determine their own outcomes. ENE processes vary from county to county and are available to individuals with or without legal representation. It is important to know that although a judge may strongly encourage the use of ENE, participation in the process is voluntary. Evaluators are not decision makers and their evaluations are not provided to the judge. As the name suggests, the process is most effective early in the divorce process before adversarial positions are deeply rooted. Finally, an ENE is not the same as mediation – the primary difference being that mediation does not include a formal assessment of likely court outcomes.

Different Types Of ENE

The 2 distinct types of early neutral evaluations are Social (SENE) & Financial (FENE). Both SENE & FENE evaluators are experienced professionals with years of experience dealing with family law issues.

Social Early Neutral Evaluation (SENE)

SENE evaluators may be attorneys, therapists, social workers, and/or mediators. An SENE addresses separate parenting issues including, custody labels and parenting time schedules. Typically, an SENE is conducted by a male-female team (preferably one attorney and one mental health professional) – although some counties allow an option to use only one evaluator. After the evaluation is presented, the parties may choose to continue the SENE session working with the evaluator(s) in order to further customize a settlement.

Financial Early Neutral Evaluation (FENE)

FENE evaluators may be attorneys, CPAs or other financial professionals (CDFAs). An FENE addresses property and debt distribution and financial support issues such as child support and/or spousal maintenance. Typically, an FENE is conducted by one evaluator. FENEs often require more than one session – typically resulting from complexity of the case or need for documentation. After the evaluation is completed, the parties may choose to continue working with the evaluator in order to customize a settlement.

Where Do I Start The ENE Process?

When you’re in the beginning of a divorce, unless you’ve practiced law, it’s going to be impossible for you to know how the process goes. Most people have very little knowledge of the law, and even fewer have any knowledge of divorce or family law. That’s where we come in with a neutral evaluator, a non biased third party, to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case and offer potential outcomes if it were to have to go through the courts to be settled. Using early neutral evaluation as a buffer to going to court can help you decide how best to proceed based on how your case will likely play out. If you’re in the Minneapolis, Minnesota, area and are in need of honest early neutral evaluation services, feel free to contact us through our contact page or by giving us a call at (952) 252-1492.

Early Neutral Evaluations Prior to Trial

If you’re looking to take your divorce case to trial for one reason or another, utilizing an early neutral evaluation service is probably the best thing you can do. It allows you to have a neutral party examine your case, and provides you information and feedback that can help you make a more informed decision. ENEs are confidential. Nobody other than yourself and the evaluator are allowed to see the evaluation feedback, meaning neither your spouse nor the judge involved in a future trial would see any part of your case evaluation. Once you discuss the findings of your evaluation, every decision about your case is left up to you to make based on what you’ve learned and what you want out of your case. Whatever route you choose to take following the evaluation of your case is your choice, and with early neutral evaluation at least you will be aware of possible outcomes.

As a provider of early neutral evaluations in the Minneapolis, Minnesota area, I can provide a much-needed service to anyone looking to come to terms and avoid divorce disputes. For an unbiased evaluation based on case facts and the law, contact Amber M. Serwat Mediation at 952-252-1492, or email amber@amsmediationplus.com.

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AMS Mediation
Burnsville Office:
1500 McAndrews Road West
Burnsville, MN 55337
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