Efficient, Experienced Family Law Collaboration And Representation

Helping Couples Find A Different Path Through Divorce

Many couples believe that the only way to protect their interests as they end their marriage is to fight things out in court. However, litigated divorce is only one option available to couples as they navigate the divorce process.

Meinerts Law Office, P.A., guides clients in the south metro through all of their divorce options, allowing them to explore alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods in addition to a litigated divorce. Burnsville ADR attorney Merlyn Meinerts has spent more than 30 years building his skill in the art of negotiation and is a Rule 114 qualified mediator. He brings this skill and experience to every client’s divorce, helping them find a different path toward the next phase of their life through family mediation in Burnsville, MN.

What Is Alternative Dispute Resolution?

Alternative dispute resolution refers to a variety of different methods that work toward a divorce resolution without a trial. These methods may include:

  • Mediation – In mediation, a mediator guides a couple through negotiations, facilitating their conversation and acting as a neutral third party as they discuss.
  • Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) – Financial Early Neutral Evaluation (FENE) and Social Early Neutral Evaluation (SENE) are a form of ADR that is similar to mediation but empowers the provider to give their evaluative opinion – a useful tool to facilitate settlements.
  • Moderated Settlement Conference (MSC) – An MSC is often the last and final attempt at settling a case prior to trial. MSCs are typically conducted at the Court and may involve the input of the assigned judge.

Alternative dispute resolution is often less costly and less time-consuming than a traditional litigated divorce. The collaborative process also reduces conflict during the divorce process, reducing stress and promoting more civil interactions in the future if a couple will continue to own property together or co-parent after divorce.

What Is The Difference Between Social ENE And Financial ENE?

Social Early Neutral Evaluation (SENE) focuses primarily on the interpersonal aspects of a dispute involving issues such as child custody and parenting time. The evaluation involves discussions about the well-being of the children and the ability of each party to fulfill their parenting responsibilities, focusing on the best interests of the children.

Typically, experienced family law attorneys, social workers, psychologists and other mental health professionals are involved in the SENE process. The goal of SENE is to help the parties come to agreements that are in the best interest of the children.

Financial Early Neutral Evaluation (FENE), on the other hand, concentrates solely on financial issues such as monthly cash flow (child support and spousal maintenance) and the division of marital property. Experienced family law attorneys and financial professionals, such as accountants or financial planners, are typically engaged to look at incomes, assets, debts and each party’s financial contributions. Having the input of a qualified evaluator greatly increases the likelihood of settlement.

How Does Mediation Give You More Control Over The Outcome Of Your Divorce?

Mediation helps empower couples as they go through the divorce process in multiple ways:

  • Both parties have the opportunity to actively participate in shaping the terms of their agreement, which allows for a more direct influence on the decisions that will affect their post-divorce lives.
  • There is more flexibility when it comes to finding customized solutions that are tailored to each family’s unique needs, especially compared to the formulaic court-imposed solutions.
  • Mediation offers more privacy than a typical divorce. This can be invaluable for couples who want to keep their private lives to themselves and protect their public personas.

Most couples also appreciate the fact that mediation is not dependent on the court’s schedule, which can allow them more control over the timeline of their divorce. For many clients in Burnsville, MN, family mediation is often the best option.

Explore Your Options Today

More information about alternative dispute resolution methods is a phone call away. Reach out to Meinerts Law Office, P.A., through the firm’s online contact form or call 952-208-8500 to schedule a consultation with an experienced Burnsville ADR attorney.