FDR/Early Neutral Evaluation

Have you reached an impasse in negotiations with your former partner, and cannot see a way forward? Are you able to resolve some but not all of the issues? Are you looking for an early neutral evaluation of your case? Are you keen to avoid protracted court proceedings?

If your answer is yes to any of the above, then a private FDR at which an agreed Judge gives an indication as to what the outcome of the case is likely to be, could unlock the outstanding issues and help you to reach agreements sooner than if you had to go to court.

What is a Private FDR/Early Neutral Evaluation

A private FDR/Early Neutral Evaluation is an appointment at which your own privately selected judge will give an objective indication as to the appropriate outcome to your case.  This will help you and your partner to reach an agreement on all issues.  You and your partner chose your judge, which means that you can ensure that the person selected has the relevant expertise. Unlike in court proceedings you will also be able to schedule the appointment when it is convenient, and at a location of your choice.

Unlike the court process, the private judge will have the time in advance of the appointment to consider all the papers and will be available to you and your partner for as long as you require on the day.

Although the indication from the Judge is not binding on you, it is likely to lead to you reaching agreements, or at the very least to narrowing the outstanding issues.

This process can be used to address financial issues as well as child arrangements.

Benefits of Private FDR/Early Neutral Evaluation

  • The private FDR can take place anywhere at any time convenient to all;
  • the parties choose a specialist family lawyer as the private FDR judge;
  • the private FDR judge focusses on your case for as long as needed;
  • It is more cost-effective than court proceedings;
  • An indication of likely outcomes from an experienced FDR “judge” at an early stage can help achieve an earlier settlement thus reducing the costs involved;
  • If settlement is not achieved, the private FDR judge can assist in narrowing the issues between the parties, which may then be suitable for arbitration;
  • Unlike the court based FDR, parties do not have to be engaged in court proceedings, and are able to engage in the arbitration as part of a voluntary process to trying to achieve settlement.

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