While there are many similarities between mediation and the Early Neutral Evaluation process, there are also a few key differences. Here is a comparison:


Mediation Early Neutral Evaluation


When does this occur? At any time. Early on in the court process.


How long does it occur?


Usually approximately three hours. Usually approximately three hours.
What does it cost? The private hourly rate of the mediator, usually split between both parties. Sometimes you pay ½ of your attorney’s hourly rate or, if no attorney, a sliding fee based on your income.  Other times, it is based on the private hourly rate of the evaluator, usually split between both parties.
Is it voluntary?


Yes. Yes.
Is it confidential? Yes. Yes.


Am I required to come to an agreement?


No. No.
Will the expert give me legal advice?


No. No.
Will the expert make a decision in my case?


No. No.
Will the expert provide feedback based on what they believe the court would decide on the outstanding issues?


No. Yes.

Minnesota Family Lawyers

If you have any additional questions about divorce mediation vs. the early neutral evaluation process, don’t hesitate to reach out to Heimerl & Lammers today! Our skilled divorce attorneys and mediators have decades of experience helping clients throughout the Twin Cities with their family law matters.