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Can you settle divorce issues with early neutral evaluation?

Things can get contentious during a divorce. You and your former spouse are trying to agree about how to divide property, money and often, time with children. These issues are deeply personal, and in a situation where tensions are running high, matters can escalate quickly.

If you and your soon-to-be ex are about to head to court, you may want to consider a type of alternative dispute resolution known as early neutral evaluation. It could save you time, money and heartache.

What is early neutral evaluation?

Early neutral evaluation is an alternative dispute resolution in which a neutral third party, usually an attorney, evaluates your case and then makes a recommendation. The evaluator typically meets with each former spouse, listens to their positions and reviews any evidence presented.

The expert identifies the strengths and weaknesses of each person’s case and gives an evaluation of what will likely occur if you and your former spouse go to court.

Why is it beneficial?

Divorce cases tend to drag on when former spouses think they are not being treated fairly, or going to court will get them their desired outcome. An evaluation may remove some misconceptions, and it will provide a realistic assessment of the case. Often, an evaluation can propel people toward a settlement and keep them out of court. It also allows former partners to make decisions about issues of custody and property division together, without the interference of a judge.

The early neutral evaluation process is also confidential, so all the evidence presented will not become a part of the public record. That is not true if you and former partner go to trial.

An early neutral evaluation may keep you and your ex out of court, which will likely save you time and money. It also puts control over decisions regarding asset division and custody back into your hands.