In some instances, it is helpful to have feedback from a mediator about the strengths and weaknesses of a divorce case before it heads through the court system.  This is especially useful early on in the divorce settlement process and can help inform both parties as they decide whether to pursue mediation or the courts to manage and settle the divorce process. AMS Mediation, based in Burnsville, Minnesota offers a wide range of divorce mediation services, including the option of an Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE), and the AMS Mediation team is especially strong helping divorcing couples solve the most complex aspects of a divorce.  An Early Neutral Evaluation allows a trained and experienced neutral third-party to learn about your divorce case and give you feedback about how it may play out in court. AMS Mediation focuses on two specific areas: Financial Early Neutral Evaluation (FENE) and Social Early Neutral Evaluation (SENE).

Financial Early Neutral Evaluation

Depending on the specific aspects of a given divorce case, a court may determine that the presence of an evaluator will be helpful to assess the couple’s financial issues.  One or more unanswered questions in the realm of the couple’s finances can cause the court to seek an evaluation of the couple’s financial situation.  In these cases, the couple may choose from a list of approved and recommended Early Neutral Evaluators ( AMS Mediation of Burnsville, MN is one option) to provide resolution to the court’s questions.

Social Early Neutral Evaluation

When child custody and parenting time (also called ‘visitation’) issues and conflicts are present between divorcing parents, it may be necessary for a dispute resolution process, known as Social Early Neutral Evaluation, to be ordered.  The Social Early Neutral Evaluation process is characterized by its short-term and confidential nature.  It is designed to evaluate the capacity of the divorcing parties to resolve disputes related to child custody and parenting time.

The Social Early Neutral Evaluation process is generally completed within one month of its start time.  A team of evaluators from Family Court Services offers evaluations of the outstanding issues between the divorcing parents and they then offer feedback to the divorcing couple and their attorneys.  They present their evaluations via case presentations and employ a limited amount of information-gathering.

Benefits Of An Early Neutral Evaluation

The rationale behind the Early Neutral Evaluation is to provide the divorcing couple with impartially concluded information so that resolution may be reached more easily, with the ultimate goal being to reach the fairest possible outcome, especially when children are involved.  If given information pertaining to the financial questions at hand comes from a neutral third-party, the reasoning is that the divorcing couple will be better able to reach resolution to those questions more easily.

In matters of Financial Early Neutral Evaluation and Social Early Neutral Evaluation, AMS Mediation can provide important information and insight into the processes to their clients, which will likely prove essential to helping resolve the remaining issues between the members of the couple.  Call our team at 952-252-1492 for more information.


The safety of clients, ourselves, and colleagues is our top priority while we remain available to assist you as you navigate the new and uncharted territory caused by the coronavirus pandemic.


Offering All Services Virtually

While providing virtual ADR services was not part of our plan, we have made the necessary accommodations to ensure we can continue to serve our clients during these unsettling times. All services are currently available through virtually. We are using Zoom for videoconferencing. We suggest that you download this app to your phone or the program to your computer at


Limited In-Person Services

We have resumed limited in-person services for sessions with 1 or 2 participants scheduled for a maximum of 2 hours. Masks are required in our building and in session. Availability is subject to change based on local regulations and CDC guidelines.


Office Hours

Our office hours remain the same and we remain available by phone and email. The main office number is 952.252.1492. Gabe can be reached via email at


New Clients Welcome

We offer free 1-hour divorce consultations via Zoom. Potential PC and PTE clients are invited to schedule a free 15-minute phone call. Please call 952.252.1492 to set up an appointment. We are here to help!

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we all continue to adapt to these rapidly changing and chaotic times. Stay strong, stay resilient, and stay healthy!


Amber Serwat & Gabe Frye
ADR Professional & ADR Assistant

Divorce Mediation & Dispute Resolution Services - Amber Serwat Mediation

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