If parties in a St. Paul divorce disagree about financial issues, the Judge may encourage the parties to participate in a Financial Early Neutral Evaluation (FENE).  Court officers recommend FENE because it results in settlement in about 80% of the cases referred and because using ENE satisfies the Minnesota requirement that parties utilize a form of Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) before being granted a trial. Parties in a St. Paul divorce who reach an early settlement save financial resources that are better spent elsewhere.

If parties agree to participate in FENE, they must select an evaluator who is then appointed by court order. Once the Evaluator is appointed, the FENE needs to be completed within 60 days. Prior to the first meeting, the evaluator will request financial documentation and position statements from each side in order to understand the scope of the marital estate and the issues to be resolved.

During FENE, each party presents his/her preferred outcomes and has the opportunity to provide relevant background information and the evaluator asks clarifying questions. After obtaining the necessary information, the evaluator provides a detailed assessment of the case including likely outcomes if the case went to trial. After parties and counsel ask questions and confer, the parties may choose to enter into an agreement which can be finessed with the assistance of the evaluator. If no agreement is reached, the FENE provider notifies the court and the court process resumes.

One of benefits of FENE is that the process is confidential, which allows the parties to more comfortably discuss the sometimes sensitive issues relating to a financial settlement. In most cases, divorcing parties in St. Paul resolve the financial issues without further litigation and trial. Weighed against the costs of litigation and the time required to schedule court appearances, choosing financial early neutral evaluation is a recommended best practice to settle financial issues in a divorce.


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 https://zoom.us/download.


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 gabe@amsmediationplus.com.


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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