When a Dissolution of Marriage case is filed with the Court, certain orders are automatically issued pursuant to California Family Code Section 2040. They are called “Standard Family Law Restraining Orders” or “Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders (ATROs)” and they are listed on the back of the Summons that must be served with the Petition. They are effective against the Petitioner upon filing the Petition and effective against the Respondent upon being served. These orders remain in effect until a final judgment, dismissal of the petition, or further court order. These orders include, among others, a prohibition against:
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.
So are your assets “frozen”? No. Will you be under Court Orders which will restrict the actions you otherwise could take with respect to your assets? Yes. The purpose of these orders is to maintain the status quo with respect to the marital assets to ensure their orderly division. You will be free to continue to pay your rent or mortgage, buy groceries, and pay your ordinary expenses. But you cannot close bank accounts, buy luxury automobiles, make other large expenditures, or engage in any conduct outside of “usual course of business” without getting your spouse’s written permission or approval from the Court.
These restrictions can be confusing, and it can be difficult to determine what actions are and what actions are not violations of the ATROs. There can be serious consequences for violating these orders. Oftentimes, violations of these orders are honest mistakes, but nonetheless can have a significant impact on the outcome of your divorce case. At the Law Office of Del Ponte and Hirz, we can assist you with any questions you may have regarding the ATROs so you can ensure that any actions you are considering are not violations of these orders, or assist you to pursue the appropriate remedy if you believe the actions of your spouse are in violation of these orders. Feel free to Contact Us for a Free Consultation.
This Website and Blog are published and maintained for general educational purposes only and are not intended to provide legal advice on any subject matter whatsoever. The Website and Blog and their contents are provided “AS IS” and without warranty of any kind, either expressed or implied. Your use of the Website and Blog is at your own risk. Due to frequent changes in the law, some of the information on the Website and Blog may not reflect the current state of the law. Neither the Attorney nor Del Ponte and Hirz (hereinafter referred to as “the Firm”) are responsible for any errors or omissions in the content of the Website and Blog or for damages that arise from your use of the Website and Blog under any circumstances. No viewer of the Website and Blog, client or otherwise, should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any content included in the Website and Blog without seeking appropriate legal advice (in consideration of the particular facts and circumstances at issue) from an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the viewer’s State.
Your use of the Website and Blog does not establish an attorney-client relationship between you and the Attorney or between you and the Firm. Contacting the Attorney or the Firm through the Website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Attorney or between you and the Firm. Leaving a comment on the Blog maintained on the Website does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and the Attorney or between you and the Firm. No attorney-client relationship will be formed without a written retainer agreement that is signed by the Attorney and a client and that defines the scope of the representation of the client by the Attorney.