Divorce is typically one of the most financially challenging events in a person’s life. Whereas before the divorce or separation the couple used two incomes to meet their needs, each party will each now have to work to make their single income meet the needs of their family. It should come as no surprise that financial issues can often be the most contentious in a divorce. The FENE process can help resolve those financial issues and save the parties time and money as well.
Financial Early Neutral Evaluation, or “FENE,” Is a form of alternative dispute resolution employed during divorce cases. The FENE process typically takes place soon after the divorce is filed, sometimes as soon as thirty days after the initial petition. The purpose of the process is to help the parties identify outstanding issues in their divorce and help them reach an agreement on financial issues. The more issues the parties can settle, the simpler and quicker the final hearing typically will be.
During the FENE, both parties will have the chance to tell his or her side of the story to the evaluator. The evaluator will take the important financial information and consider the issues in light of Minnesota law. The evaluator will then provide the parties with a professional opinion about the likely outcome if they were to go to trial over the financial issues.
Although most divorces involve important financial problems for the parties involved, some cases are more fit for the FENE process than others. Cases that involve complex child support or spousal support issues are particularly well-suited for the FENE process. Cases involving a large amount of marital assets to divide are also a good fit for this procedure.
The primary advantage to using the FENE process is saving time and money. The earlier you can settle the issues in your divorce, the more money you will save in attorney fees. In addition, settling your case soon after the case has been filed will save you the emotional cost involved in a drawn out divorce that takes months or even years to reach a final hearing.