Early Neutral Evaluation
During Divorce and Family Law cases, there are two types of Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) processes that are used by Family Court.
Social Early Neutral Evaluation (SENE) relates to child custody and parenting time. SENE cases are usually handled by a team consisting of one male and one female evaluator.
The second type of ENE process is Financial Early Neutral Evaluation (FENE). 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.
The ENE process typically begins within one month after the first court appearance (also referred to as the Initial Case Management Conference or ICMC). When the ENE process is completed, the evaluators will contact the court regarding whether a partial or full settlement was reached by the parties.
The ENE process is completely confidential (except in certain circumstances).
The SENE and FENE processes have been adopted by Family Courts in all counties in the Twin Cities metro area. Attorney & Mediator Randall A. Smith conducts court ordered SENE and FENE work and is on ENE rosters in several Twin Cities counties.
The benefit of using the ENE process is that it gives the parties a 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 ENE process in Divorce and Family Law cases.
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.