When you file for divorce and are served with divorce papers, standard family law restraining orders immediately go into effect. They are listed on the 2nd page of your Summons (FL-110). These are different from the civil harassment or domestic violence restraining orders that people normally think of when they read the words “restraining order”. This shouldn’t be anything to panic about but they are important to know. This is because they do restrict and limit what you can do regarding your children and marital assets. They do this by putting measures in place to maintain the status quo until your divorce is final.
Removing minor children from California
Both you and your spouse are restricted from being able to take the children out of California and applying for a new or replacement passport for the children without the other parent consenting in writing or a court order.
Canceling or changing any insurance
Any insurance policy covering either of you or your minor children must stay in place. This includes life, health, automobile, and disability insurance. Neither of you is permitted to get rid of or modify the policy, or make changes to the beneficiaries until your divorce is finalized.
Disposing of assets
If you are planning to close bank accounts or sell/buy a vehicle, make sure you get your spouse’s consent in writing. It doesn’t matter whether they are your separate assets or marital assets, you are restrained from being able to hide, transfer, or encumber any real estate or personal property, without your spouse’s written consent or a court order.
An exception applies to paying attorney’s fees, the usual course of business, and the necessities of life, such as ordinary living expenses like housing expenses, food, clothing, etc. Written notice must be given for any extraordinary expenditures 5 days before incurring the expense. It is important to keep your receipts and records because you must be able to account to the court for these extraordinary expenditures.
When creating or modifying a nonprobate transfer affecting property, you need the written consent of your spouse or a court order. If you are revoking a nonprobate transfer or eliminating a right of survivorship, notice of the change must be filed and served on the other party.
If you have questions concerning how the standard restraining orders affect you, it is best to consult an attorney before you take action that could be detrimental or cause you to violate the standard family law restraining orders.