What is the automatic restraining order in divorce and custody cases?

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What is the automatic restraining order preventing dissipation of assets?

After a divorce or custody case is filed and served on the other party, there is an automatic restraining order that goes into effect.

To view a copy of this restraining order and read through what it requires, click here for divorce cases and click here for custody cases.

Exceptions to automatic restraining order

There are a few exceptions to the automatic restraining order:

  • Agreement. Parties can sell off, transfer, or take out loans on jointly owned property if both parties agree in writing to the change. You don’t have to file this written agreement with the court, but you should keep a copy for your records.
  • Usual course of business. Property can also be sold or disposed of if it’s “in the usual course of business.” For example if the property is something you regularly buy and sell, it’s ok to keep doing that during the case.
  • Necessities of life. You can also sell or get rid of property if it’s a necessity. For example, if your car breaks down and cannot be fixed, it is likely appropriate to trade in or sell your vehicle for a new one. However, you should keep detailed records related to the transaction for use in your divorce case.

What if the other party violates this automatic restraining order?

If you believe the other party has violated the statutory restraining order, you can file a contempt case.

The forms and instructions for filing for contempt are available on the Oregon Judicial Department website.

What if you need to make a change to the statutory restraining order?

You may request a hearing if you need to sell or dispose of an asset, make changes to insurance policies, or take other actions that would violate the automatic restraining order and the other party will not agree to these changes.

The form for requesting this hearing is available on the Oregon Judicial Department website.

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The Commons Law Center Blog is for information purposes only. It is not legal advice.

posted February 3, 2023

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