Certified Early Neutral Evaluator
The goals of an Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) are:
- To help divorcing spouses understand how Minnesota law applies to their case
- To provide divorcing spouses with information about how a judge may decide if disagreements over child custody, support and other issues were brought to court
- To give divorcing spouses the information they need to reach agreements on their own
With these goals in mind, the choice of an Early Neutral Evaluator must be based on the evaluator’s experience and knowledge of the law. At Dwire Law Offices, P.A., in Lakeville, we offer ENE services from attorney and certified Early Neutral Evaluator Todd Dwire.
An Experienced and Trusted Evaluator
Todd Dwire has been practicing divorce and family law in Minnesota for more than 22 years. He has handled all forms of divorce, from the most straightforward to the most complex, high-asset cases. He has long been a proponent of mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, but he has also gone to trial on many contested divorce cases.
You can be confident in Mr. Dwire’s ability to lock onto your specific issues and educate you about how the law applies and how a judge may decide. He will provide you with a clear, understandable and neutral evaluation of your case, empowering you and your spouse to work together to reach agreements in a timely, cost-effective and non-contentious manner.
When Is an ENE Conducted?
Minnesota courts are committed to guiding couples toward non-combative divorce solutions. In many counties, the early stages of the divorce process involve an Initial Case Management Conference (ICMC). The ICMC is an informal meeting at which you, your spouse and your lawyers (if you have them) meet with a judge to discuss options for resolving your differences through alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or the ENE process.
At this point, you and your spouse may mutually agree to participate in Early Neutral Evaluation as a means of pursuing settlement. You may have a Financial Early Neutral Evaluation (FENE) to resolve disputes over property division and support payments. You may have a Social Early Neutral Evaluation (SENE) to resolve disputes over parenting plans and child custody issues. If your situation requires, you may have both types of ENE.
Todd Dwire will facilitate the ENE as a neutral evaluator, allowing you and your spouse to present your cases before he provides feedback about how such disputes would be resolved in court. The discussion is designed to provide a place where both parties can openly voice their concerns and goals in a safe and respectful environment without being interrupted by the other party. You may still consult with your lawyer separately before ultimately agreeing to a resolution, but you will be empowered to move your case forward without court intervention.
The ENE Is Completely Confidential
For many divorcing couples, the ENE may be the first time they can truly discuss sensitive family issues. It often leads to cost-effective and personalized agreements in a safe and confidential environment. That said, even in cases where no agreements are made, the disputing parties walk away with no legal consequences. Information exchanged within the ENE is confidential and cannot be presented in court.