Alternative Dispute Resolution And Mediation Options

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a good option for divorcing couples who want to collaborate on their divorce and work cooperatively to avoid court. Under Minnesota law, ADR is required in all family law matters, unless they are exempt by general rules of practice as cited in state statute 310.01. ADR is a collection of conflict resolution processes. The benefit of ADR is that it is collaborative and empowering since both parties seek their own creative and practical solutions. Mediation is one form of ADR and Early Neutral Evaluations (ENEs) are another.

Why Choose Divorce Mediation?

A family law mediator is a neutral party who is specially trained in divorce. The mediator ensures both parties are given an uninterrupted time to speak and asks for clarification when needed. The mediator also offers information about how the legal system works and how issues might be perceived by lawyers and judges but will not provide legal advice, that is where I come in.

The Two Types Of ENEs

There are two kinds of ENEs in Minnesota, financial early neutral evaluations and social early neutral evaluations. At Krenner Law LLC, I represent clients in both of these processes.

A Social Early Neutral Evaluation is a form of ADR that is voluntary and non-binding. In ordinary mediation, the mediator generally does not take a position. The evaluators presiding over a SENE are specifically tasked to give their recommendations in order to aid the parties in reaching a settlement. SENE usually involves both parties, both attorneys, and two trained custody evaluators, male and female. Every divorce case in Minnesota is required to do some kind of ADR.

A Financial Early Neutral Evaluation focuses only on the financial issues such as child support, spousal maintenance and division of the marital estate. The parties, and their attorneys, select a neutral evaluator to conduct the FENE from the roster. That person is tasked with giving their evaluative opinion and recommendations on the case after hearing the position of both parties on the disputed issues.

Preparation Is The Key To ADR Success

At Krenner Law LLC, I help my clients by preparing them for the process. Knowing what to expect removes a substantial amount of anxiety. This involves establishing a client’s narrative based on what an evaluator is interested in knowing. I also prepare my clients for what the other side will ask for and offer a clear expectation of where a settlement might come in. Most importantly I work with the client to decide if they can bring the case to closure. I have found that two parents who work through their divorce and child custody issues together are always happier than couples who have a judge making the decision.

If you think mediation is a good fit for your situation and want legal support during this process call my Oakdale office today for an initial consultation. Call 651-447-6478 or fill out the online contact form and I will get back to you promptly.