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Early Neutral Evaluation

This is a confidential process that involves a 2 person team of professionals, generally an attorney and a mental health professional that help divorcing parents develop a parenting plan over the course of a 4 or 5 hour session. At times, there may be follow up meetings. The team meets with the divorcing couple and with their attorneys (if they are represented) for a meeting similar to a settlement conference. The parties share information about themselves, their children, the relationships among the various family members and their preferences for a parenting plan. They are also asked to share any special concerns or incidents about/involving the other parent, such as domestic violence, substance abuse, psychological problems, and or child abuse. The ENE team indicates that, based on the information provided, they would have the following thoughts or ideas to consider if they were performing a full Child and Family Investigation. These thoughts or suggestions are not meant to represent the findings of a CFI, but as a starting point to help the divorcing parties develop a parenting plan. After these suggestions or thoughts are shared, the team and the parties (and attorneys if represented) then enter into settlement negotiations. This process can be adapted and used to help divorcing parties come to a financial settlement, with a financial specialist leading the meeting.