What Does a Preliminary Injunction Do for Spouses in a Divorce?

Arizona is a community property state, which means that all property acquired during a marriage is deemed to belong to both spouses equally and, upon divorce, is divided equally between them. When you file for divorce, you may be concerned that your spouse will spend or otherwise dispose of money in bank accounts and other community assets before the court has had a chance to divide them. This is why when a petition for a divorce is filed, the Family Court will automatically issue a preliminary injunction that prohibits both parties from taking certain actions while the divorce is pending.

A preliminary injunction is a court order and the spouses are subject to sanctions and other penalties if it is violated. The order specifically provides that the parties cannot:

  • Transfer, sell or spend any of the community property without written consent of the other party or the permission of the court, unless it is in the usual course of business or for necessities of life or fees related to the divorce
  • Harass or commit assault or battery against each other or their children
  • Remove the children from the jurisdiction of the court without permission from the court or the other party
  • Hide community assets from the other spouse
  • Take out a loan on community property during the pending divorce
  • Fail to maintain any insurance coverage in effect at the time of the filing

If a spouse would like to sell or transfer community assets or take the children out of the state of Arizona and cannot get written permission from the other spouse, a motion can be filed with the court to request authorization. The other spouse may file an answer to the motion and the court will hold a hearing to decide on a resolution.

Either party may also petition the court for other relief, such as restraining orders or temporary spousal or child support if needed. A knowledgeable divorce attorney can provide counsel on complying with the terms of a preliminary injunction and seeking other forms of relief during a pending divorce.

If you need assistance with property division and other issues in your divorce, the experienced attorneys at Clark & Schloss Family Law, P.C. in Scottsdale, Arizona are here to help. For a consultation, call us at 602-789-3497 or contact us online.