6 Things You Need To Know About “Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders” In California Divorce

Did you know that you are legally restrained from certain actions during the divorce process in California?

What Are ATROs?

Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders (sometimes called “ATROs”) are restraining orders that affect both parties immediately upon effective service of a summons in a dissolution, legal separation, nullity, or paternity action. (ATROs are listed on the back of the FL-110 Judicial Council form.)

I Thought Restraining Orders Were For Violent People?

Most likely you have heard of domestic violence restraining orders (DVROs) that restrain certain individuals’ actions to protect another person from violent, harassing behavior. ATRO’s also restrain behavior to protect other involved parties, but they protect financial and custody rights rather than someone’s safety.

When And How Long Do We Have To Comply With The ATROs?

As soon as the Petitioner properly serves the Respondent with a divorce summons, both parties are prevented by court order from taking certain actions. The ATROs remain in effect until the case is dismissed, terminated, or a final judgment is entered.

In A Nutshell, What Can’t We Do?

Essentially, you are restrained from making any major changes to your children’s location (out-of-state residence or international travel) or to your community property assets. If you want to take an action that will affect where your child lives or travels or will significantly affect the property/assets (including insurance benefits) that you and your spouse share, STOP and CHECK the ATRO’s then proceed with caution. If you’re not sure what you may or may not do, seek legal advice.

What Is The Purpose Of ATROs?

The purpose of these ATROs is to ensure that neither spouse unilaterally disposes or changes the character of property that is owned by both parties. If you don’t know whether certain assets are owned by the community or by you separately, act with caution. If there is a dispute as to whether property is owned by the community or not, you don’t want to have to defend improper actions to the court.

The Basic Rule

The status quo must be maintained until the parties have a court order affecting the property and/or custody, or until the parties have a written agreement.

Talk To An Affordable Family Lawyer Today

If you have questions about ATROs, filing for divorce, or another legal matter, contact the attorneys at Shoreline Legal Group, LLP. We are a modern law firm offering affordable legal services. We do this by “unbundling” our legal services into manageable limited scope steps priced at a fixed fee. Serving Long Beach, Cerritos, Cypress, Orange, CA and surrounding areas.