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What do temporary injunctions in a divorce in Colorado actually mean?

On Behalf of | Jan 22, 2020 | Divorce

You just received a summons for divorce action. Upon looking over the documents, you notice language that restricts you from doing certain things. How do you make sure the status quo you maintained during your marriage does not change? What all does this require of you or prohibit you from doing?

As part of Colorado Law, upon serving a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage, automatic injunctions are entered on a temporary basis. These injunctions only go away either at the end of your case or through another Order of the Court. In this blog, we explain what each term of the temporary injunction actually means.

“A. Restraining both parties from transferring, encumbering, concealing, or in any way disposing of, without the consent of the other party or an order of the court, any marital property, except in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life and requiring each party to notify the other party of any proposed extraordinary expenditures and to account to the court for all extraordinary expenditures made after the injunction is in effect.”

Translation: The court expects you to maintain the “status quo” with respect to your financial situation and assets. This means that you cannot liquidate your retirement account, sell your rental property, or transfer funds into a secret account in someone else’s name. this also means that you should not be buying new cars, new homes, or taking expensive vacations during your divorce.

This injunction does not mean that you are prohibited from spending money. However, how you spend money should mirror the way money was spent during your marriage. If you need to move an asset or spend an unusually large sum of money, you will either need agreement from the other party or an order from the Court.

B. “Enjoining both parties from molesting or disturbing the peace of the other party”

Translation: Do irritate or interfere with your soon-to-be former spouse’s life. At GEM Family Law, our Colorado divorce attorneys tell clients that the best way to look at the process of divorce is as a business transaction. This can be difficult at times, especially if your former spouse is not taking the high road.

Some examples of violating this term of the injunction would be to show up unannounced at your former spouse’s new apartment, destroying documents that they need in order to complete their mandatory financial disclosures, or calling your former spouse an excessive number of times.

C. “Restraining both parties from removing the minor child or children of the parties, if any, from the state without consent of the other party or an order of the court;”

Translation: Once this injunction goes into place, you will need permission (best practice is to have it in writing) from the other parent before traveling out of state with your child. Otherwise, you would need to request an order from the court allowing you to travel with your child.

D. “Restraining both parties, without at least fourteen days’ advance notification and the written consent of the other party or an order of the court, from canceling, modifying, terminating, or allowing to lapse for nonpayment of premiums, any policy of health insurance, homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, or automobile insurance that provides coverage to either of the parties or the minor children or any police of life insurance that names either of the parties or the minor children as a beneficiary.”

Translation: You must continue to pay insurance premiums, be it health, car, life, homeowner’s, etc., during the pendency of the divorce process, absent an agreement you both have signed. Speak with your family law attorney should you have any questions about how this works.

The gist of the Temporary Injunctions that go into place is to maintain the “status quo” that existed during the marriage and before your family law case began. These injunctions are designed to protect you, your former spouse, and your child(ren).

Authored by: Anthony Zarsky, Associate Attorney