What Happens After Divorce?
We fight to make your life better… by teaching you what to expect during a divorce.
Client’s often ask “After filing for divorce, what do I need to do to put my case in the best light possible?”
You need to be aware of the temporary restraining orders that are automatically placed on you the divorce is filed. These orders are named “Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders” or “ATROs.”
ATROs are not to be confused with Domestic Violence Restraining Orders that are issued when there is violent behavior. Rather, ATROs are general orders that insure that bad behavior between angry spouses will not occur. They last until the end of your case or until the Court makes a different order. They are issued on every divorce on both parties.
Judges will often tell people in their courtroom that these ATROs are general civility rules to make sure people do not act out against each other creating an unfair and unjust situation.
The Law Office of Sean Musgrove believes that by being aware of the ATROs, clients can avoid unnecessary legal problems. We work with clients to make sure that they don’t break the ATROs. We work with clients to make sure that if the other spouse breaks the ATROs, the other spouse is held accountable for their misdeeds.
Here is some general information about the ATROs and what you need to be aware of.
What are ATROS (Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders)?
As soon as you file for divorce, the Court will issue Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders. These orders are called ATROS for short. They will appear on the back of the Summons and look like this:
If you file for divorce, you are bound to these orders the second your case is filed. If you are served with divorce papers, then you are bound by those orders the second you are served.
These ATROS will remain to be in effect until entry of a final judgment, the case is dismissed, or the Court orders the termination of some or all of the ATROS.
Why are there ATROS?
ATROS are designed to protect each side from bad behavior. Some attorneys have described them as general good behavior and fair play rules.
The Courts realized that people who are divorcing may not like each other, so they want to keep the unfair tactics to a baseline minimum. To make sure all people are behaving, the Court created ATROS.
What do ATROS do?
ATROS prevent BOTH parties from doing the following:
- 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. This may not be applicable if the child is already living outside of California when the petition is filed.
- Transferring, encumbering, hypothecating, 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. This means that you cannot take out a loan on community property. You also cannot “hypothocate” community property. “Hypothocate” is a big word that simply means that you cannot pledge property as security or collateral for a debt. You may not close a joint checking account and transfer the money into your own separate account. You cannot hide assets, whether transferring an account to another account, or remove items from your home or a safety deposit box and then give them to a third party to hold for you.
- 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 child or children for whom support may be ordered. This means that you cannot cash in your life insurance policy and deposit the proceeds into a separate account. You may not change the beneficiary to your life insurance policy. You may not remove your spouse or children from the health, dental or vision insurance policy, regardless if it is through your employer or you pay for it directly. You may not remove your spouse’s car from your automobile insurance policy even if you are not living together.
- In addition, each party must notify the other of any proposed extraordinary expenditures at least five business days prior to incurring those expenses and must account to the Court for all extraordinary expenditures made after the restraining orders are effective.
If you violate the ATROS, you can be penalized or found in contempt of Court. Before you take any action which may land you in hot water, consult with an attorney FIRST!