Even though it might not seem like it, the vast majority of Utah divorces go pretty smoothly.

Eventually, after the high of litigation and fighting wears off, exes get along and work together for their kids. They don’t need supervision to help them talk and work things out.

And then there’re those other cases.

What I mean is there are cases in which parents absolutely cannot get along. Maybe one person is mentally ill and can’t get along with anyone (common), or both parents just despise one another and can’t talk about anything without arguing (more common).

Whatever the situation, sometimes parents need someone to supervise them and help them make decisions after divorce.

Enter the Special Master

Special masters are professionals (usually psychologists or experienced divorce attorneys) who help make decisions (or makes some decisions) in high-conflict divorce situations.

Special masters get their authority to make decisions from parents. So, both parents have to agree to use a special master and give the special master authority to make certain decisions.

For example, parents might agree to use a special master and give him or her the authority to make decisions about holiday parent-time (who gets what, when, etc.). If there’s ever a disagreement about holidays, the parents would go to the special master who would hear each parent’s side of things and make a decision about the disagreement.

(Note: I used holidays as an example, but you can use special masters for all sorts of issues.)

Why Use a Special Master?

You only use a special master in high-conflict cases. Moreover, you use one if you want to cut down on cost (it’s cheaper and faster to go to a special master about things than pay attorneys to file motions in court and argue in front of a commissioner or judge), or you want to decrease the time from disagreement to resolution.

The other nice thing about special masters is you don’t really need attorneys because you’re communicating directly with the special master about your particular disagreement.

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