The Automatic Temporary Injunction

Gavel and law booksAs a Colorado Springs Family Law Attorney, my clients often ask me what protections they have when a case is first filed. My response to my clients is that the automatic temporary injunction is the first layer of protection in a case. The goal of the automatic temporary injunctions is to maintain the status quo between the parties during the case. Further, the automatic temporary injunction helps establish guidelines to help prevent wrongs from being done by either party during the case. Basically, the injunction is a great checkbox for want to do and not do as the case begins.

The temporary injunction occurs automatically upon the filing of petition for dissolution of marriage or legal separation by the Petitioner or Co-Petitioner (or by a legal guardian or conservator on behalf of a party) and upon personal service of the petition and summons on the Respondent or upon waiver and acceptance of service by the Respondent.

Colorado Revised Statute (C.R.S.) 14-10-107 provides the guidelines and law on the Automatic Temporary Injunction. C.R.S. 14-10-107 (4)(b)(I) describes the specific areas the injunction affords protection to the parties. The temporary injunctions entered are as follows:

  1. Restraining both parties from transferring, encumbering, concealing, or in any way disposing of, without the consent of the other party or an order of the court, any marital property, except in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life and requiring each party to notify the other party of any proposed extraordinary expenditures and to account to the court for all extraordinary expenditures made after the injunction is in effect;
  1. Enjoining both parties from molesting or disturbing the peace of the other party;
  1. Restraining both parties from removing the child or children of the parties, if any, from the state without the consent of the other party or an order of the court; and
  1. Restraining both parties, without at least fourteen days’ advance notification and the written consent of the other party or an order of the court, from canceling, modifying, terminating, or allowing to lapse for nonpayment of premiums, any policy of health insurance, homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, or automobile insurance that provides coverage to either of the parties or the minor children or any policy of life insurance that names either of the parties of the minor children as a beneficiary.

After my clients read the injunction, they often want to know what it means without the legal explanation. Below is the way I explain the sections of the temporary injunction to my clients:

  1. The day to day living expenses still need to be paid. If you paid the water bill during the relationship or marriage, continue to do so. If opposing party paid the electric bill during the relationship or marriage, they need to continue to do so. Parties cannot waste marital funds. This means that the parties cannot take elaborate trips or dissipate marital funds after the issuance of the temporary injunction.
  1. Emotions often run high during a family law case, so this part of the injunction is there to help the parties “play nice” during the case. Most often this section arises when the parties are living in two separate residences and one party comes to the other’s place of residence without being invited.
  1. The third section of the injunction specifically addresses that the child or children of a case cannot leave the State of Colorado without consent or permission of the other party or further court order. If you are looking to leave the State of Colorado for a weekend trip, for a family vacation or for a permanent relocation, with the children then you must get permission of the other party or schedule it for a hearing. If you leave without telling the other party, it can come back on you as a violation of the injunction.
  1. The final section of the injunction states that the parties cannot disturb or change the insurance (life, health, dental, vision, auto, or homeowners) of the other party or the minor children, if any. I have seen parties that will remove the opposing side off the insurance either intentionally or unintentionally and those parties are ultimately responsible for large sums of monies as there was no insurance to cover the other side.

The automatic temporary injunction is not permanent but a placeholder for both parties until the entry of decree, dismissal of the petition or further orders of the court.

If you have questions about the automatic temporary injunction in your Family Law case, please contact the attorneys at Springs Law Group LLC to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss the best steps in preparing for your Family Law case in El Paso County, Teller County or surrounding areas.

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