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Understanding automatic temporary restraining orders in Texas

When many people hear the term temporary restraining order, they immediately think of a domestic violence situation. However, an automatic temporary restraining order can be issued to keep one spouse from spending, selling, transferring or otherwise getting rid of part of the marital assets during a divorce.

An ARTO may be issued automatically in some counties in Texas; in others, you may need to ask the court for one. This order does not keep either one of you from paying your bills, as in the usual course of business; however, something like paying an annual gift of cash to your children may be put on hold.

Here is what an ATRO can do:

— Borrowing against, transferring or selling a property

— Selling or borrowing against an insurance policy on a spouse

— Hiding or destroying assets

— Changing or closing accounts

— Modifying beneficiaries on insurance policies, health insurance coverages, wills, retirement accounts and more

If there needs to something done that violates an ATRO and both parties agree to it, then the court may modify the ATRO. Should one party or the other violate the terms of the ATRO without the court’s permission, there are significant ramifications that can be imposed by the court.

At Laura Dale & Associates, PC, we understand that divorce is a difficult time in our clients’ lives. We work diligently to ensure that the rights of our clients are protected as you seek what is rightfully yours from the marital assets. In order to learn more about divorce and ATROs, please visit our webpage on the topic or contact us today.