Minnesota Family Law Acronyms

When you are faced with the stress of a divorce or family law matter, you do not have time to learn all the jargon and legal lingo that you will be presented with. Our attorneys at Heimerl & Lammers make it our mission to simplify the process and proceedings as much as possible. You don’t need to be made any more confused than you already are. However, below are some of the acronyms that you might come across when dealing with divorce proceedings.

Common Divorce Acronyms

Having an idea of what these acronyms mean can help you understand what is being said and how this will impact you:

Initial Case Management Conference (ICMC) this is the initial meeting you will have with a judge or referee about your pending case. You can expect the ICMC to happen around 3-4 weeks after you or your partner files for divorce. During this meeting you can expect the judge to go over your options in terms of dispute resolution. The judge will also set discovery deadlines, discuss settlement progress and make a schedule for future hearings, all of which are required to move forward with your divorce.

Social Early Neutral Evaluation (SENE) – There are many social issues that come up when faced with a divorce including parenting time and child custody. What SENE does is provide alternative dispute resolution for these social issues. It is a voluntary program and very similar in nature to divorce mediation. However, it focuses on social issues rather than financial ones. SENE will generally include a male and female evaluator, both parties as well as their attorneys. You can expect a SENE to help you identify what ‘could’ happen if the parties were unable to settle in court.

Financial Early Neutral Evaluation (FENE) – this is similar to SENE but involves financial aspects rather than social ones. For example, rather than predicting who will get custody of the children, a FENE may predict things like spousal maintenance, child support obligations and martial estate division. Keep in mind that both SENE and FENE is not a final decision but rather a prediction of what may happen so both parties can be prepared.

Order for Protection (OFP) – Orders for Protection are issued in the event of a domestic abuse case and prevent the accused from coming into contact with the alleged victim. An OFP usually makes it illegal for the offending party to enter the other party’s house, workplace, or the child (or children’s) school.

Harassment Restraining Order (HRO) – similar to OFP, HRO’s are civil court orders that prevent a person from coming into contact or harassing another. They are usually issued in the event of a physical or sexual assault. The main difference between OFP and HRO is that an OFP is usually issued during domestic problems and can impact child agreements. However, HRO can be issued against anyone, whether you are married, in a relationship or related or not.

These are just some of the terms you may come across when dealing with any family law issue. If you have any other questions or for more information, contact our Minnesota family law attorney. Heimerl & Lammers are happy to help in any way possible.