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David R. Hartwig, Esq.
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Divorce Conflict? Tired of dealing with all the problems your ex creates? Try a Special Master

During, and after, a divorce there is often conflict - a great deal of conflict. The conflict often involve the rights of parents in relation to the children: custody disputes, parent-time (visitation) conflicts; and, parenting styles or roles. The children are affected and pulled by parents, and the parents are frustrated by the costs, and weeks of delays, in having to go back to court to determine their rights, or enforce the terms of a divorce, custody, or paternity order.


A Special Master can make decisions on all of those matters, and more; and do so in a couple of days, instead of weeks -- all without going back to court. And, often attorneys are not involved.  The Special Master acts as a quasi-judicial officer, in place of a judge or court commissioner, with authority to order parents to comply with his or her recommendations.


A Special Master can be appointed, either by agreement or court order. The order will set the boundaries to exactly what the Special Master will do. For example, the parties may agree to focus on only a certain set of related issues, such as parent-time; they may seek an interpretation of a divorce decree; or, to change part of a court order. All of the decisions are subject to judicial review.

The benefits of using a Special Master include:
•        Parents can address problems without resorting to litigation -- avoiding court costs and delays
•        Parents can  save time, and get decisions within a day or two, rather than waiting weeks  for court
•       Parents feel they have greater control when working with a Special Master because they are expected to provide significant input into their unique situation in order to aid the Special Master in making recommendations
•       Instead of relying on an attorney to address day-to-day issues, the Special Master can step in and make a decision, saving attorney resources for when litigation is absolutely necessary

The costs of a Special Master are usually shared by the parties.

So, if you are tired of the bickering back and forth by texts, emails, or in person; tired of dealing with problems your ex raises just to cause you problems; and, tired of waiting to go to court look into getting a Special Master appointed in your case.

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I am David R. Hartwig, Esq., a Salt Lake City attorney with extensive experience helping parents resolve simple or high-conflict custody issues reaching arrangements that work for children and parents. Child custody involves parent-time and visitation schedules, and can affect support. I help in all of these areas, providing comprehensive service clients need to achieve their custody goals.

Factors In Child Custody Decisions

As an experienced Utah child custody lawyer, I understand that custody cases may become a contentious issue even years after an order is finalized. The trend in Utah toward joint custody often creates messy, unworkable situations, which ultimately lead to enforcement issues when parents do not abide by their custody orders.

The best interests of the child must be considered, including:

• Whether joint legal or physical custody will benefit the child's physical, psychological and emotional needs, or the child's development

• The parents' ability to give first priority to the child's welfare, and reach shared decisions in the child's best interest

• Whether each parent is capable of encouraging and accepting a positive relationship between the child and the other parent

• Whether both parents participated in raising the child before the divorce

• The distance between the parents' homes

• The parents' maturity and their willingness and ability to protect the child from conflict that may arise between the parents

• The parents' ability to cooperate with each other and make decisions jointly

• Any history of, or potential for, child abuse, spouse abuse, or kidnapping

• Any other factors the court finds relevant

Despite the complicated and sensitive nature of custody matters, I have helped many clients successfully establish custody orders.

Get Help With Your Child Custody Issue

If you have a child custody issue, please contact me, David R. Hartwig, Esq. I am an experienced Salt Lake City custody lawyer dedicated to helping clients resolve complex custody issues and implement necessary custody orders. For high-conflict cases, I am also one of the few Utah child custody modification attorneys trained as a Special Master for ongoing dispute resolution.


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