What is a special master in the child custody context?
Paul A. Eads
A special master is someone appointed by the court that both parents must
bring their grievances to rather than the Court. The special master is
either an attorney or a physiologist if the matter is child custody related
only. The special master has the delegated authority to resolve the issues
with the parents rather than the parties coming to court on the filing
of multiple Request for Orders to modify the custodial arrangement or
to obtain their requested relief. For example, mom wants the child to
play soccer while dad believe the child is better suited for rugby. The
parents would attempt to resolve the matter amongst themselves first.
If they are unable to reach a resolution, they would then enlist the services
of a special master who would receive all of the information from both
parties and then make a decision on the matter. It is I tended to be a
less litigious means of resolving a dispute that puts less pressure on
the children who are at the center of the dispute.