If you know the relevant financial information for you and your ex, it may be that you want to discuss settlement but don't know what sort of arrangements a court would approve. Perhaps the two of you disagree in a big way about what is reasonable. Perhaps you disagree over one particular important point and need some guidance as to which of you is correct. This is the sort of problem Early Neutral Evaluation is designed to help with.
ENE is a process by which the parties to a dispute agree to instruct a neutral professional/expert to provide them with an evaluation of their respective positions on the whole of the dispute, or some element or elements of it, before they are actually in a position to proceed to a final resolution.
In family disputes, for example, it could be used to give early direction on a single point, such as whether a pensions report will be needed, or whether a particular asset will be included in a settlement. It can also provide an early view on the range in which overall settlement will be reached. You can use this to help decide where to begin negotiating with each other.
ENE can therefore take a necessary preliminary decision or set the framework within which negotiations can take place.