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Family Law

Automatic Temporary Injunction: Violations

In any divorce or legal separation case, the court will issue an automatic temporary injunction. The automatic temporary injunction requires the parties to continue engaging in certain behavior while prohibiting the parties from engaging in other behaviors. In a perfect world, the parties recognize the importance of compliance and no issues arise. However, in reality, parties will frequently engage in any number of behaviors that violate the requirements of the automatic temporary injunction.

What May Happen

Contempt

One avenue of relief that may be available to a party aggrieved by the other party’s violations, is seeking contempt.  Motions for contempt may seek punitive or remedial relief. Depending on the egregiousness of the violation, one may be more appropriate than the other. There are several remedies available to a court. A violating party often pays a high price for their actions.

While it may seem attractive to pursue a contempt motion, there are definitely some drawbacks. Since contempt is a quasi-criminal proceeding, there are several constitutionally required safeguards.  Burdens of proof may be different.  All this may slow down your remedy.

Motions to Enforce

Another possible avenue for relief is to request that the court enforce the terms of the automatic temporary injunction. If this happens, the court again has significant latitude in the relief it may grant. One of the primary benefits associated with a motion to enforce is that it is likely to result in more swift determination.

Potential Consequences

Violating the automatic temporary injunction can be extremely risky, and it can carry substantial penalties. First and foremost, violating the automatic temporary injunction will almost certainly damage your credibility and how you are perceived by the court. In family court, the judicial officers are given significant discretion, and if the court doesn’t trust you, it can make things extremely difficult for you.

Furthermore, because of the court’s ample discretion, it has rather broad power in fashioning punishments and/or remedies. So even though you may have done such a great job of hiding your assets in an offshore account, if the court comes to find out about it, you may end up having to hand over the funds to your spouse. The lesson here is that you ought to be aware–violating the automatic temporary injunction can result in serious consequences, and a roll of the dice with the court can spell disaster.

Don’t Take an Automatic Temporary Injunction Lightly

Complying with the automatic temporary injunction is critical. If you have questions about the process, do yourself a favor and speak to a qualified attorney. Here at Modern Family Law, we specialize in family law, and we know all about injunctions. So take the time to get some information. Give us a call today to speak with one of our family law attorneys at no cost to you.

Posted March 21, 2017
by: MFL Team


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