Are you Aware that a Divorce Petition Creates an Automatic Temporary Restraining Order (ATRO)?

Once you file your petition for a divorce, an Automatic Temporary Restraining Order goes into affect.  The second page of the summons contains this language which reads:

Starting immediately, you and your spouse or domestic partner are restrained from:

1. removing the minor child or children of the parties, if any, from the state without the prior written consent of the other party or an order of the court;

2. cashing or borrowing against, canceling, transferring, disposing of, or changing the beneficiaries of any insurance or other coverage, including life, health, automobile, and disability, held for the benefit of the parties and their minor child or children;

3. transferring, encumbering, hypothecating, concealing, or in any way disposing of property, real or personal, whether community, quasi-community, or separate without the written consent of the other party or an order of the court, except in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life; and

4. creating a non-probate transfer or modifying a non-probate transfer in a matter that affects the disposition of property subject to the transfer, without the written consent of the other party or an order of the court. Before revocation of a non-probate transfer can take effect or a right of survivorship to property can be eliminated, notice of the change must be filed and served on the other party.

This means once you file for divorce you are automatically restrained from doing things like liquidating bank accounts, canceling insurance, or taking equity out of the family home.  While this may seem just and fair, many people make the mistake of letting their spouse’s automobile insurance lapse, thinking they no longer have the responsibility, and inadvertently violate the ATRO.  Contact Sagaria Law today to schedule an initial consultation to learn more about this and other important issues in a divorce filing.