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Automatic Temporary Injunctions

Any time a divorce or legal separation case is started, there are significant changes that can occur. For some, it’s a step towards relief. For others, it can cause a great deal of turmoil. However, for everyone, it means having to comply with new and substantial burdens involved in the judicial process. One of the most significant burdens comes in the form of an “automatic temporary injunction”. The automatic temporary injunction is extremely important, and it is absolutely crucial that you understand what it entails. This article is aimed at providing you with a quick synopsis of automatic temporary injunctions, and what it means for you in your case.

What is It?

Automatic temporary injunctions are fundamental to all divorce and legal separation proceedings. Essentially what it does, is prohibit the parties from taking certain actions, while simultaneously requiring the parties to continue taking certain actions. To put it briefly, the automatic temporary injunction requires that the parties do all that they can to maintain the status quo. So “business as usual” is the name of the game here. The parties are to continue doing the things they have historically done, and refrain from taking actions that they have not historically taken.

When It’s In Place

The automatic temporary injunction is something that automatically goes into effect in the following situations: (1) upon filing of a joint petition for Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation signed by both parties; (2) upon personal service of a Petition and Summons on the other party; or (3) upon waiver and acceptance of service by the other party. Once one of these situations is present, the automatic temporary injunction takes effect. What’s more, is that the automatic temporary injunction will persist through the entirety of the case, until a final decree has been issued.

What’s the Point?

There are many purposes of the automatic temporary injunction. First and foremost, the court wants to promote judicial economy, encourage the potential for amicable proceedings, and have the best knowledge available for family law matters. Judicial economy is promoted because the parties are required to act in a way that maintains the status quo. Therefore, the court is less likely to encounter significant surprises. Next, abiding by the injunction helps promote an environment where peaceful proceedings are possible because it helps to promote trust and security. In theory, if both parties are complying with the injunction, there is a lower likelihood that action (or inaction) will result in heightened emotion or conflict.  Finally, the injunction is calculated to preserve the best information possible for the court. If the parties are maintaining the status quo, there’s a greater probability that information about the marital estate will be preserved.

Final Thoughts

Automatic temporary injunctions are present in all divorce and legal separation proceedings. While it may be burdensome to comply with their requirements, they absolutely should be both respected and followed. If you are in the midst of a divorce or legal separation, it’s worth taking the time to speak to a family law attorney about the automatic temporary injunction. At Modern Family Law, we dedicate our practice entirely to family law. So if you have questions about your case, call us 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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