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Automatic Injunctions and Protective Orders

Unlike legal advice, these articles will not help you to directly apply the law to your unique situation. Contact us if you wish to schedule a consult for legal advice.


In a dissolution of marriage matter, both the Summons and Petition contain four Automatic Temporary Injunctions which restrain both parties from harassing or disturbing the peace of the other party; from disposing of or concealing or encumbering marital assets; from removing the children from the State of Colorado without permission of the other parent or Order of the Court; and from terminating insurance.  The injunctions may not be violated. However it is not generally considered a violation of the injunctions to use funds or credit in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life such as paying monthly bills, obtaining a place to live, etc.


Either party may apply to the Court for further temporary orders, an expanded automatic temporary injunction, or modification of the injunctions. For example, it is necessary to obtain an expanded order to require one spouse to leave the family residence if he or she objects to leaving.  The only exception would be if the spouse wishing to remain in the home, or the children, would suffer imminent emotional or physical harm or has recently suffered emotional or physical harm. By recently, the law generally means within the past 48 hours. A court hearing would be required on that issue and could be scheduled quickly.  We generally refer to the standard of proof for obtaining such an emergency hearing as “beating, bleeding, or not breathing.”  Another reason for an emergency hearing  would be a threat to kidnap a child if it is imminent, as in the child is presently being taken (not a threat to take the child in the future at some undetermined date).


If at any time a party has a question regarding whether a contemplated action is a violation of these temporary injunctions, we recommend contacting an attorney for clarification before acting. Think carefully before taking any action regarding the marital property, taking the children out of the state, changing insurance  or moving assets.  As we remind clients and prospective clients, each case and situation is different with its

own unique facts. If you are unsure about a particular course of action after a close reading of the injunctions, it may be best to seek an attorney's advice regarding your specific legal rights and responsibilities. It is always better to be blessed than forgiven.