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CA’s Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders upon filing for Divorce

Dear Clients and Friends,

In California when a petition is filed with the Superior Court for Dissolution of Marriage, Legal Separation or Nullity of Marriage, restraining orders against spouses or domestic partners are automatically imposed on the parties. They are automatically imposed and fully official and enforceable. As with any court order, violating these restraining orders is subject to a contempt proceeding that can ultimately lead to imprisonment.

The key restraining orders are:

1. Removing a minor child or children from the state without the prior written consent of the other party or an order of the court.

2. Cashing, 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 (pledging money to be given to a person or organization), concealing, or in any way disposing of any 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.

In order to allow a party needing to protect their interests, California law does not preclude using community property for payment of attorney fees. On other proposed extraordinary expenditures the parties are required to notify each other at least five business days prior to their being incurred and then must account to the court for them.

These restraining orders are effective against the Petitioner upon filing of the Petition and against the Respondent once the Respondent has been personally served with the service documents or upon the signing of a Notice and Acknowledgment of Receipt form.

The restraining orders are in effect until the judgment is entered, the Petition dismissed or the Court makes an Order modifying the restraining orders.

If you or yours has a family law challenge to mind or at your doorstep we invite you to contact us for a free phone evaluation of your matter – including finding out about your chances of success, your alternative resolution routes and your estimated fees and costs.



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