What is a Financial Temporary Restraining Order?

Most people think restraining orders are orders of protection that protect you from being abused by someone else.  While there are restraining orders that have this effect, you can also request a restraining order in a divorce proceeding to prevent a spouse from transferring or spending money during the duration of the proceedings.


To obtain a temporary restraining order against your spouse or ex-spouse, you must prove that: 1) there is a clearly ascertainable right that needs protection, 2) without the restraining order, there would be irreparable harm to you or your children,  there is no other adequate remedy at law besides a restraining order that can help you, and 4) the balance of hardships are in your favor and that your spouse or ex-spouse will not be harmed as a result of the restraining order.


In a situation where your spouse or ex-spouse has complete control over an asset, a temporary restraining order will restrain and enjoin your spouse or ex-spouse from transferring, encumbering, concealing, borrowing against, destroying, or otherwise disposing of the funds until a final adjudication in the matter.  It is important to obtain this restraining order on time, however, as it is likely too late if your spouse or ex-spouse has already moved or spent the funds.  If necessary, file the motion as an emergency.


A temporary restraining order can only be issued for 10 days however.  After 10 days, the Court will hold a hearing to determine if a longer restraining order is necessary.  Your spouse or ex-spouse should receive notice of this motion, and the motion should be very detailed so that the judge can properly rule before taking such extreme measures.


If you are the spouse or ex-spouse who has had a temporary restraining order entered against you, you have the right, upon 2 days notice, to seek a re-hearing on the motion and seek that the injunction/restraining order be removed.  It is critical, however, that you abide by the terms of the order so that you have not violated the terms of the restraining order before a judge modifies or reverses the order.  Any violation could be detrimental to you and could expose you to sanctions.

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