A Special Master acts in a quasi-judicial role to assist in hearing evidence and making recommendations to the judge on behalf of the parties in order to settle a case in a timely fashion. In any family law civil case involving complex situations or factual issues or, in other circumstances in which the parties believe that their case should not be handled in a courtroom that can be open to the public, they can agree to appoint a Special Master. Special Masters can be appointed by the court or by the parties to handle a determination of a myriad of issues from custody, support, or division of community property.
A Special Master can get a case to conclusion in a non-courthouse setting. After all the evidence is submitted, the Special Master will issue a report to be filed into the Clerk of Court's record. When the Special Master issues an opinion at the conclusion of the case, the parties have the right to challenge the Special Master's decision if they disagree, much like they have the right to appeal when they disagree with a judge's decision.
SELA offers panelists who can serve as a Special Master in your case. Special Masters can make the process go more quickly than a traditional courtroom setting, and they can help you maintain privacy during litigation. Contact our office to learn more.