Written by attorney James Louis Miller

Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders (ATROS)

Many people do not realize when they file and serve a Petition for Dissolution, Separation, Nullity or Paternity action the Summons that is issued contains Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders (ATROS), which apply to both parties. Violation of these orders has taken up countless hours of Court time and cost the parties thousands of dollars.

ATROS apply to both parties and remain in effect until a final judgment is entered, the Petition is dismissed or by further order of the Court.

Ø 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 does not apply if the child(ren) are living outside of the State when the Petition is filed)

o Note this does not say out of the County, it says out of the State. Many parents believe this prevents the other parent from taking the child out of the County where the child resides. A parent, absent, any other Court order is permitted to travel with his child(ren) i.e. taking a trip to Disneyland, the coast etc.

Ø 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.

o You cannot cash out a life insurance policy.

o You cannot remove your spouse or children from your health insurance.

o You cannot remove your spouse from an automobile policy.

Ø 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.

o You cannot take out a loan on any real property nor can you use the real property as collateral for a loan.

o You cannot close a joint checking account and take the money for yourself

o You cannot withdraw all the money out of a joint check account

o If you have your own bank account and have been putting your paycheck into it I would suggest you keep tabs on where you spend the money and what you spent it on.

o You can use the joint bank account to pay attorney fees but make sure you keep a record of what you spent and where.

Remember the ATROS remain in effect until the final judgment, the matter is dismissed or the court modifies them with it’s won order. Violating the ATROS is a serious matter and can negatively affect the party that violates them. If you are unsure of what you can and can’t do contact an attorney in your area.

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