Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders
Once a divorce or legal separation is filed, a set of Family Law Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders (ATROs) take effect. There are four standard mutual restraining orders that take effect automatically when the petition for dissolution is filed (as to the petitioner) and when the petition for dissolution is served (as to the respondent). The restraining orders restrain both parties from doing the following:
- Removing the parties’ minor child(ren) from the state without the prior written consent of the other spouse or a court order.
- Transferring, encumbering, concealing or disposing of any property, real or personal, community or separate, without the written consent of the other party or a court order.
- Insurance Coverage – Spouses are prohibited from changing beneficiaries, altering, canceling, borrowing against, cashing, or transferring any insurance including health, automobile, life, and disability insurances. This means that you cannot, for example, cancel your spouse’s health or auto insurance or change the beneficiaries of any life insurance policies during the pendency of a dissolution proceeding.
- Creation and Modification of Non Probate Transfers: Both spouses are prohibited in creating non probate transfers or modifying a nonprobate transfer in a manner that affects the disposition of the property subject to transfer, without the written consent of the other party or a court order. A non probate transfer includes revocable trusts, a financial institution pay on death account, Totten trust, and transfers on death registration of personal property. This does not include wills.
Spouses are also required to notify the other spouse of extraordinary expenditures at least five business days in advance and to account for these expenditures to the court. They are, however, allowed to use community, quasi-community, or their own separate property to pay an attorney.
It is important to speak to your attorney to determine what is within your purview to create, modify or change while your divorce or other legal action is pending.
For more information about divorce and restraining orders, please contact the divorce attorneys at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri. Please remember that each individual situation is unique and results discussed in this post are not a guarantee of future results. While this post may include legal issues, it is not legal advice. Use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship.