Automatic Restraining Orders (ATROs)

By Schonauer Law on Jul 27, 2016 at 11:12 PM in What Does it Mean

Automatic Restraining Orders (ATROs)

When a person files for dissolution (divorce), under Family Code section 2040 California imposes standard (Automatic) Temporary Restraining Orders (“ATROs”). Primarily the ATROs prohibit either party from removing a minor child of the parties from the state.

The ATROs also serve as a property restraint.  The ATROs prevent a party from transferring, encumbering, concealing or disposing of any property, regardless whether it may be characterized as community or a party's separate property, without the written consent of the other party or court order.  The ATROs also restrain each party from cashing, borrowing against, canceling, transferring, disposing of, or changing the beneficiaries of any insurance or other coverage held for the benefit of the parties and their children. Last, neither party may create or modify an instrument, other than a will, that makes a transfer of property on death

If a party violates the restraining orders, he or she can face a contempt action with the aggrieved party entitled to potential restitution and attorney’s fees. Under Family Code Section 233, the ATROs remain in effect the final judgment of dissolution is entered.

There are exceptions to the restraints imposed by Family Code section 2040.  Those exceptions will be discussed next week.