Financial Early Neutral Evaluation (FENE)
In Minnesota Divorce and Family Law cases, there are two types of Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) processes that are used by Family Court.
Financial Early Neutral Evaluation (FENE) cases are generally handled by one evaluator (either a lawyer or a CPA) who has a substantial understanding of financial issues involved in divorce and family law matters, such as property and asset valuation, spousal maintenance, real estate issues, cash flow, property division, debt division, pension analysis, tax analysis and lifestyle of the parties during the marriage.
The FENE process usually begins within one month after the first court appearance (also referred to as the Initial Case Management Conference or ICMC). When the FENE process is completed, the evaluators will contact the court regarding whether a partial or full settlement was reached by the parties.
The FENE process is completely confidential, and has been adopted by Family Courts in all counties in the Twin Cities metro area. Attorney & Mediator Randall A. Smith conducts court ordered and private FENE work and is on FENE rosters in several different Twin Cities counties.
The benefit of using the FENE process is that it gives the parties a financial neutral evaluation of their case at the onset, in a confidential environment, and before the parties have spent considerable financial resources on the case. Most Judges are proponents of using the FENE process in Divorce cases involving contested financial issues.
Randall A. Smith is the founder and principal attorney of Lake Harriet Law Office and has practiced law since 1996. Mr. Smith earned his B.A. from Hamline University, his J.D. from Drake University and his M.B.A. from the University of St. Thomas.
Lake Harriet Law Office represents clients in Minneapolis, Edina, Bloomington, Golden Valley, Hopkins, Eden Prairie, Southwest Minneapolis, Linden Hills, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, St. Paul, Wright County, Anoka County and Scott County.