In a previous post, I explained that
Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders ("ATROs") are orders that come into effect once a summons is served in a
dissolution action. ATROs apply to both parties in a
case, and the orders remain in effect for the entirety of your case. There
are four specific rules governing ATROS, you can read them here. In addition
to the four automatic rules, the
Court has carved out two exceptions that you can read here.
The ATROs are found on page two of the Family Law Summons (form FL-110).
These orders provide clients with substantial protection at the initiation
of a case, and they can help you safeguard or maintain assets in dispute.
For instance, if your spouse is threatening to close out joint bank accounts
or take you off the health insurance plan, filing a dissolution petition
is the quickest way to protect yourself against those threats. Once the
case is filed, the court has the ability to enforce the automatic orders
and your attorney can petition for appropriate relief on your behalf.
The ATROS oftentimes give clients some peace of mind because the orders
establish a basic set of ground rules in your case. Seeing, in black and
white, what your spouse can and can't do is helpful. Though there
is no guarantee that both parties will comply with the ATROs, these orders
are taken seriously by the courts and violations can be raised by your
attorney in court.