What You Should Know About Temporary Restraining Orders During Divorce

Posted on: 14 August 2015

An automatic temporary restraining order is one you get when you or your spouse files for divorce. It is not the same restraining order you get to keep someone away from you (e.g. a stalker), but one that is meant to create guidelines for both spouses during divorce proceedings. Here is more information about this type of restraining order.

Automatic Restraining Orders Protect Both Spouses

The automatic temporary restraining order (ATROs) is not just meant to protect one person, but both spouses. If you get a restraining order after filing for divorce or after your spouse filed, don't panic. This is actually a good thing. It will occur after you file a summons of dissolution or request a separation or file for paternity. It comes with certain regulations that prevent you or your spouse from doing something unlawful during divorce proceedings.

Temporary Restraining Orders Come With Rules and Guidelines

There are some rules you need to be aware of when you get a temporary restraining order of this type. Remember these rules are not in place to punish you, but to make things fair and right between both spouses during the divorce and settlement proceedings. Some rules and guidelines include:

  • You can't conceal property. In terms of property that you and your spouse both own, you can't conceal any property in an effort to keep it for yourself. You also do not have the right to dispose of property, whether by selling or through donation, without consent from your spouse.
  • Children must remain local. While one spouse may get temporary custody of the children, they can't move the children out of state. You must have authorization from a court judge to move the children out of state if your temporary restraining order is still in place.
  • You can't change a beneficiary on an insurance policy. Insurance policies must remain the same when you have an automatic temporary restraining order. This means you can't change the names or beneficiaries, cancel a policy, or transfer it. This includes all types of insurance policies.

Some Things Are Allowed Even With the Restraining Order

While there are a few rules of these restraining orders, there are also some things you can change while it is in effect. First of all, a will can be altered, including changing the beneficiary. Your will is yours and yours alone, so you have the right to change who your money goes to. If your spouse was previously your beneficiary, you have the right to change it to a sibling, parent, or friend. However, you need to get a court order to alter a child's beneficiary status. You'll want to talk to an attorney, like Butts, Schneider & Butts LLP, about this process.

Another thing you have the right to do is put an end to a joint tenancy agreement. However, this does require a court order. If you are living with your spouse in a house you rent, and you want them to leave, you can get a court order for them to relocate and be removed from the lease.