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.