Once you file your divorce petition or receive notice that a petition has been filed, there are specific temporary restraining orders that go into effect. These automatic temporary restraining orders, also known as ATROs, become effective once a party has been served with divorce papers.
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Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders
Automatic temporary restraining orders go into effect when you file for divorce and the other spouse is served with a summons. These restraining orders prevent you and your spouse from taking the following actions:
- Removing a minor child from the state, without the prior written consent of the other parent or a court order.
- Applying for a new or replacement passport for a minor child without the prior written consent of the other parent or a court order.
- Transferring, encumbering, hypothecating, concealing, or in any way disposing of any real or personal property without the written consent of the other party or a court order.
- Borrowing against, canceling, transferring, disposing, or changing the beneficiaries of any insurance policy, including life, health, automobile, and disability insurance held for the benefit of a family member.
- Creating a nonprobate transfer or modify a nonprobate transfer in a manner that affects the disposition of property subject to the transfer, without the written consent of the other party or a court order.
Even if there are in effect automatic temporary restraining orders, you can still take the following actions:
- Use community property, quasi-community property, or your own separate property to pay reasonable attorney’s fees and costs in order to retain legal counsel.
- Create, modify, or revoke your will.
- Revoke a nonprobate transfer, including a revocable trust, pursuant to the instrument, provided that notice of the change is filed and served on the other party before the change takes effect.
- Eliminate a right of survivorship to property, provided that notice of the change is filed and served on the other party before the change takes effect.
- Create an unfunded revocable or irrevocable trust.
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