What is a Special Master?
A Special Master in a family law case is appointed by the Judge when the parents request such an appointment. A Special Master works with cases which have complex custody and communications issues to try to better serve the family than the Court system is able to do by providing quick and efficient access to decision making on issues of custody such as schooling, health care, exchanges, communication, holiday and vacation
schedules, and counseling. The Special Master is empowered by the Court to make decisions regarding most issues that arise regarding children except for changing the basic custody schedule designated by the Court.
Trish Nugent was part of a committee of Judges, Attorneys and Mental Health Professionals (part of the Sonoma County Bar Family Law Section) that worked to improve access to the use of Special Masters. This group worked toward a model of Special Mastering which included an Attorney/Mental Health Professional team. If you and your spouse or partner ask the Court to appoint a Special Master you will have input into the choice of that Special Master or Special Master Team.
Trish Nugent has served as a Special Master appointed by the Court in
Sonoma County. She brings a unique blend of expertise from her many years
of work in litigation, mediation and representation of children in family law cases to her work as a Special Master.