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Are there any court orders that apply during the divorce process?

On Behalf of | Oct 22, 2021 | Divorce |

Yes. There may be specific orders pertaining to your particular case, such as a temporary parenting order or a temporary order for spousal maintenance during the divorce. However, it’s important to know that there is a general court order, called a preliminary injunction, that applies in all Arizona divorce cases.

Since the preliminary injunction is a court order, a person who violates it could be held in contempt of court or even prosecuted for the crime of interfering with judicial proceedings.

What does Arizona’s preliminary injunction mean?

The preliminary injunction will be included in the papers you or your spouse files in order to begin the divorce process. It becomes a court order immediately upon filing and service and lasts until a final divorce decree is issued. It applies to both of the parties.

The main point of the preliminary injunction is to prevent the divorcing spouses from engaging in family violence or making any decisions that are the subject of the divorce. It is meant to maintain the pre-divorce status quo, as much as possible, until the issues of the divorce can be decided.

The preliminary injunction addresses these four issues:

No selling of property. Both parties are ordered not to sell, transfer, encumber of otherwise dispose of any property, except as required in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life, or to pay court or attorneys fees, without the written consent of the other party or permission from the court.

No domestic abuse. Both parties are ordered not to molest, harass, disturb the peace of or commit an assault or battery against the other party or the children.

No relocation of the children. Both parties are ordered not to remove the children from this jurisdiction without the other party’s written consent or the permission of the court. This applies to natural and adopted children.

No removing anyone from insurance policies. The parties are ordered not to remove the other party or the children from any existing insurance policy, including medical, hospital, dental, automobile and disability insurance. The parties are ordered to maintain all insurance coverage in full force and effect during the divorce process.

What to do if you think your ex will violate or has violated the preliminary injunction

If you are concerned that your divorcing spouse may violate the preliminary injunction, you can register a certified copy of the order with the sheriff’s department. Law enforcement can arrest your spouse once they have violated the injunction. If your ex is arrested, they could be charged with a crime.

You should also notify your attorney whenever you think your ex has violated the preliminary injunction. Sometimes, violations of the preliminary injunction can have an impact on the rest of your divorce.

Be sure you know how to comply with the preliminary injunction

As soon as you file for divorce or respond to your spouse’s filing, you should talk to your attorney about what to expect. This discussion should include what court orders like the preliminary injunction are in place and what you must do to comply.