Early Neutral Evaluation

The Early Neutral Evaluation process uses professionals who are specially trained to analyze information and make recommendations about the parties’ interests in parenting and/or financial issues.

There are two types of Early Neutral Evaluations available in Minnesota Family Courts:

  • Social Early Neutral Evaluation – Both parties and their lawyers meet with a “team” of neutral professionals to discuss parenting issues. The team usually consists of one lawyer and one mental health professional, one of whom is male, and one of whom is female. Each party describes their child(ren) to the team and what parenting arrangements they believe would be best for their child(ren). The team then discusses what they’ve heard privately, and returns to give the parties and their lawyers feedback about the arrangements that they believe would be best for the child(ren) and what they believe would be likely outcomes if the parties go to court.
  • Financial Early Neutral Evaluation – Both parties and their lawyers meet with a neutral professional trained to evaluate information regarding the parties’ asset, debt and support issues. After receiving all necessary information, the neutral suggests possible resolutions to the parties.

In either type of Early Neutral Evaluation, if the parties agree to the assessments and recommendations of the neutral, one of their lawyers will draft the paperwork to submit either a partial or a complete settlement to the Court. If they have been unable to reach agreements they may choose to continue working with the neutral, who would then function as a mediator.

Contact Patricia Buss to discuss your legal matter today.