Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders (referred to as “ ATROS” for short) are mutual restraining orders found in Family Code Section 2040. ATROS automatically go into effect with the commencement of a dissolution action. The Petitioner is bound by the ATROS immediately upon the filing of the Petition and Summons, and the Respondent is bound upon service of the Petition and Summons.
The ATROS, listed on the back of the Summons in a large box titled, “Standard Family Law Restraining Orders,” prohibit both parties from:
- Removing the minor child or children of the parties, if any, from the state without the prior written consent of the other party or an order of the court;
- Cashing, borrowing against, canceling, transferring, disposing of, or changing the beneficiaries of any insurance or other coverage, including life, health, automobile, and disability, held for the benefit of the parties and their minor child or children;
- Transferring, encumbering, hypothecating, concealing, or in any way disposing of any property, real or personal, whether community, quasi-community, or separate, without the written consent of the other party or an order of the court, except in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life; and
- Creating a nonprobate transfer or modifying a nonprobate transfer in a manner that affects the disposition of property subject to the transfer, without the written consent of the other party or an order of the court. Before revocation of a nonprobate transfer can take effect or a right of survivorship to property can be eliminated, notice of the change must be filed and served on the other party.
Careful attention must be paid to these orders. It may be easier than you think to be in violation of ATROS. For example, Family Code Section 2040(a)(1) restrains both parties from not only removing the minor child from the state, but also from applying for a new or replacement passport without the prior written consent of the other party or an order of the court. Thus, a seemingly innocent attempt to renew your child’s passport may constitute a violation. Please contact an attorney to learn how long ATROS remain in effect, exceptions, and consequences of violating the above orders.
Please note that this blog is intended for informational purposes only, and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need assistance, please contact our offices.