Early Neutral Evaluation under Minnesota law is a process that originated in Hennepin County family court. Today, most Twin Cities counties offer some sort of early neutral evaluation process to divorcing parties. Our early neutral divorce evaluation lawyers in Minnesota have helped hundreds of litigants through the ENE process.
With a settlement rate approaching 80%, litigants are afforded an opportunity to save tens of thousands of dollars in fees and costs that would otherwise be paid in fees and costs. For that reason, we strongly encourage our clients to participate in ENE.
Social Early Neutral Evaluation (SENE) in Minnesota
Social Early Neutral Evaluation involves an attempt to resolve the custody and parenting time issues early in a case. A team of two evaluators, male and female, eliminates perceived gender bias. The evaluators are trained to understand the circumstances surrounding divorce, and provide verbal feedback to the parties about their respective positions.
The parties, and their lawyers, meet with the evaluating team, and provide them with important details about the children and parental roles each played during their upbringing. The evaluators are then in a position to offer their opinion and guidance before a full custody study is undertaken. Settlement discussions take place, with the goal of reaching an agreement is likely mirrors that which the court would order.
In the event that the evaluation procedure does not work, and the parties do not reach an agreement, the case can then proceed to a custody evaluation and trial. Nothing discussed during the SENE may be presented evidence; it is a confidential process.
Financial Early Neutral Evaluation (FENE) in Minnesota
A financial early neutral evaluation involves the same general concept as social early neutral evaluation, but the issues for debate and discussion, naturally, involve finance. Issues handled at an FENE include property valuation, the calculation of non-marital interests, division of assets, division of debts, spousal maintenance, child support and attorney fee awards.
Instead of a pair of evaluators, the court will appoint one neutral, with a particular expertise in the financial issues involved in a divorce. Many financial early neutral divorce evaluation attorneys in Minnesota are experienced family law attorneys or CPAs.
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Have additional questions? Contact the Brown Law Offices, P.A. today. Call (763) 323-6555, or complete our case evaluation form and someone with our firm will get back to you shortly.