All family law matters in district court are subject to Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes as established in this rule and Rule 114, except for:
1. actions enumerated in Minnesota Statutes, section 518B.01 (Domestic Abuse Act);
2. contempt actions;
3. maintenance, support, and parentage actions when the public agency responsible for child support enforcement is a party or is providing services to a party with respect to the action; and
4. proceedings conducted by a special master appointed under Rule 53 of the Rules of Civil Procedure.
The court shall not require parties to participate in any facilitative process where one of the parties claims to be the victim of domestic abuse by the other party or where the court determines there is probable cause that one of the parties or a child of the parties has been physically abused or threatened with physical abuse by the other party. In circumstances where the court is satisfied that the parties have been advised by counsel and have agreed to an ADR process established in Rule 114 that will not require face-to-face meeting of the parties, the court may direct that the ADR process be used.
The court shall not require parties to attempt ADR if they have previously engaged in an ADR process under Rule 114 and reached an impasse with respect to the current, pending issue(s).
(Amended effective July 1, 1997; amended effective May 1, 2012; amended effective January 1, 2023.)
(Amended effective July 1, 1997.)
In family law cases, there are two types of Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE) processes, Financial Early Neutral Evaluation (FENE) and Social Early Neutral Evaluation (SENE). FENE involves financial issues. SENE involves custody and parenting time issues and is conducted by a team of no fewer than two Neutrals unless agreed otherwise by the parties.
A Moderated Settlement Conference (MSC) is a process in which an experienced Neutral offers evaluative impressions to parties to assist in the settlement process in the later stages of family court matters.
(1) Parenting Time Expediting. Parenting Time Expediting is a process in which a Neutral is appointed by the court pursuant to Minnesota Statutes, section 518.1751, to serve as a Parenting Time Expeditor (PTE). A PTE is limited to addressing parenting time disputes not addressed in court orders, interpreting court orders, and determining if violations of court orders occurred. The process is a hybrid of mediation/arbitration and begins with neutral facilitation of parenting time disputes. If parties are unable to agree, the PTE will make a decision, which is binding unless modified or vacated by the court.
(2) Parenting Consulting. Parenting Consulting is a process defined by the agreement of the parties in which the Parenting Consultant (PC) incorporates neutral facilitation, coaching, and decision making. Terms of the process are defined by the agreement of the parties and incorporated into a court order.
(3) Notice to Court of Parenting Time Adjustments. If adjustments are made to the parenting time previously ordered or agreed upon, the Neutral, or if the Neutral does not do so, counsel for the parties if either party is represented, or in the case both parties who are unrepresented, one of the self-represented parties as designated by the Neutral, shall file a report with the court, limited to stating the specific adjustments to the parenting time terms.
A Neutral serving in a confidential ADR process in a family law matter may not conduct a custody investigation/evaluation in the same matter unless (1) after full disclosure by the Neutral of the nature of the change in roles, the parties agree in writing executed after the termination of the ADR process, that the Neutral shall conduct the investigation/evaluation; (2) the court finds there is no other person reasonably available to conduct the investigation/evaluation and orders the custody investigation/evaluation; and (3) the Neutral informs the parties in writing that disclosures will not be kept confidential.
(Amended effective January 1, 2023.)