Early Neutral Evaluation for Family Disputes
Experienced family barristers at 4PB offer Early Neutral Evaluation in family law for both finance and children cases, giving parties an expert specialist opinion on the merits of their case before going to court. This may lead to a negotiated settlement and a consent order - avoiding court proceedings.
The Early Neutral Evaluation model we adopt is very similar to existing court proceedings. Whether the parties face a Financial Dispute Resolution (FDR) hearing in cases involving money, or a pre-hearing review in family disputes and children cases, Early Neutral Evaluation gives the parties a view of the merits of their respective cases and an approximate prediction of what the family court may decide.
These hearings tend to involve parties who have already made an application to the family court and have a listed hearing date which is often months away.
Once all the evidence required to resolve the issues becomes available, the parties, together with their family lawyers, attend before a member of our panel - who will provide them with a view of the merits of their respective positions and the likely order that a court may make. The parties can then use that information to properly negotiate a settlement.
In the event that the results of Early Neutral Evaluation lead to an agreement, a consent order can be lodged with the court, avoiding the need for the hearing. If, however the parties cannot agree, they can ask the court to resolve the family dispute at the listed hearing.