Denver Collaborative Law Q & A’s
Top-rated Denver divorce attorneys, where clients matter most.
Q: What is ENA?
A: ENA or Early Neutral Assessment is a process in which a couple who is divorcing can work with a team of specialists to work through the issues of their case, and hopefully avoid the costs of litigation.
Q: How does ENA work?
A: Divorcing parties meet with a team of two evaluators, typically an attorney and a therapist or mental health specialist who have had no prior involvement with the particular case. Evaluation teams are comprised of one man and one woman to avoid any gender bias. The evaluators then provide their expert assessment of the case’s likely outcome if it were to proceed to a hearing. The team then provides settlement suggestions and assists in mediating a settlement, if needed.
Q: When should I start the ENA process?
A: ENA should be started as soon as possible. Once a case has truly gotten going, it may be too late to start ENA. This initial meeting takes place within the first 60 days that a case is at issue. A joint session is scheduled with the team, the parties, and their attorneys where each party is able to express their concerns, frustrations, feelings, and needs.
Q: Why should I consider ENA?
A: Every component of the process is designed to move the parties towards resolution, increasing the likelihood of early settlements and giving the parties the chance to freely discuss – in a safe environment – some of the emotions that can send divorce proceedings off the rails in a traditional approach.
Q: What is the difference between ENA and mediation?
A: The biggest difference between mediation and ENA is the insight, specific recommendations and settlement suggestions that are provided to the parties in order to help them reach resolution.
Q: What does ENA cost?
A: Because cost is always a concern in divorce, the question often asked is “how much does this advice cost?” Rates vary from evaluator to evaluator – some charge hourly, some charge a set fee, some even offer reduced rates depending on a client’s income. Each county should be able to offer a list of professionals who provide ENA services to better define costs. It is important to note that if an ENA evaluator’s recommendations are followed, the result is less time in court, lower attorney fees, and a reduced chance of litigation – which is a significant money saver.