Private FDR/Early Neutral Evaluations

Both Early Neutral Evaluations and Private FDRs are out of court dispute resolution options, which allow the parties to receive a joint and neutral opinion from a family law specialist as to the potential outcome of taking their case to court.

Early Neutral Evaluations

An Early Neutral Evaluation is a meeting which both parties attend, and at which both parties would have an opportunity of hearing an independent and neutral opinion as to how their particular circumstances would be viewed by a court. The parties can take this away and use this in their negotiations, direct discussions or mediation sessions.

This useful and detailed, but sometimes fairly informal, intervention at an early stage provides an insight into what outcomes might be achieved in court based on the information provided and can help guide separating couples towards a fair outcome. This is a service that works particularly well alongside the mediation process as it allows people the opportunity to receive a neutral and expert opinion, without compromising their mediator’s role.

Private FDR

A Financial Dispute Resolution hearing (or FDR) is usually the second hearing of the financial court process. A private FDR can take place within proceedings, or before they begin. At an FDR, the judge knows the offers of settlement on each side and does his/her best to encourage both parties to settle. Both parties are represented much like when in court and arguments are made in support of each person’s settlement proposals. The private FDR judge will then give an indication on the likely outcome of the case. If a private FDR takes place it is not usually necessary to carry out a court based FDR.