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Home Blog What is the Preliminary Injunction in my Arizona Divorce Case


What is the Preliminary Injunction in my Arizona Divorce Case?


One of the more common concerns I encounter as a Divorce attorney in Arizona is with new or prospective divorce clients is a real fear that their soon-to-be ex-spouse will dispose of community assets before the court has a chance to divide the property. Arizona is a community property state. In general, this means that any asset that you and your spouse accumulated during the marriage (i.e., house, retirement account, savings account, etc.) is considered community property, and each spouse is entitled to a 1/2 interest in the property. In some cases, particularly those involving long marriages, the community assets can be substantial and it may take quite some time to determine how the assets should be equitably divided. In the meantime, what if anything can be done to prevent one spouse from selling or taking community assets before your divorce case can be resolved either by settlement or by the family law court?

THE PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

When you or your Mesa divorce attorney file your Arizona divorce case, the Clerk of the Court is required to issue a preliminary injunction that prohibits both parties from taking certain actions while the divorce is still pending. An injunction is a court order. This means that if either party does anything forbidden by the Preliminary Injunction, he or she is violating a court order and may be subject to sanctions from the family law judge. One of the primary purposes behind issuing this automatic preliminary injunction is to prevent either spouse from disposing of community assets until either the parties agree in writing how to divide or dispose of an asset, or the court issues an order regarding the disposition of the asset.

WHAT DOES THE PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION PROHIBIT?

The Preliminary Injunction, which can be found in A.R.S. 25-315(A)becomes effective as soon as it is issued by the Clerk of the Court and is served on the non-filing spouse. The injunction includes specific orders applicable to both parties including the following:

1. You may not hide earnings or community property from your spouse;

2. You may not take out a loan on any community property;

3. You may not sell the community property or give it away to someone UNLESS you have the written permission of your spouse or written permission from the court. The law allows for situations in which you may need to transfer joint or community property as part of the everyday running of a business, or if the sale of community property is necessary to meet the necessities of life, such as food, shelter, or clothing, or court fees and attorney fees associated with this action. If this applies, you should see a lawyer for help, AND

4. You may not harass or bother your spouse or children, AND

5. You may not physically abuse or threaten your spouse or the children, AND

6. You may not take the minor children, common to your marriage, of the State of Arizona for many reasons, without a written agreement between you and your spouse or a Court Order, before you the minor out of the State.

7. You may not remove, or cause to be removed, the other party or the minor children of the parties from any existing insurance coverage, including medical, hospital, dental, automobile and disability insurance. Both parties shall maintain all insurance coverage in full force and effect.

WHAT IF MY SPOUSE VIOLATES THE PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION?

If either spouse violates the Preliminary Injunction he or she may be found in contempt of a court order. In my family law practice, this comes up most often when one spouse unilaterally decides he or she wants to sell some piece of property or tries to hide money. Keep in mind, that if both parties agree in writing to do something with a community asset (for example, if both parties agree to split the proceeds in a savings account so each has some money to live on while the divorce is pending) it is not a violation of the Preliminary Injunction. Likewise, if one party wants to do something with an asset and cannot get the other party to agree, he or she is free to file a motion with the family court judge requesting that the court order that the asset is divided or sold or whatever the party is seeking. After the other spouse files his or her response to the request, the family court judge will decide to either allow the party to sell or divide the asset or to wait until the case is decided at trial.

Where most people get in trouble when it comes to Preliminary Injunctions is when they do something with a community asset without the permission of the other spouse or without a court order. When a party unilaterally disposes of a community asset, he or she may be in direct violation of the Preliminary Injunction. A couple of years ago I had a case where the parties had a substantial 401K through the husband’s employer. The 401K was a community asset that needed to be divided equally. The soon-to-be ex-husband unilaterally decided he was going to use the 401K funds for his own purposes, including my client’s half of the funds. When we found out about the husband’s actions, we filed a Motion for Contempt with the family court judge. After hearing the evidence, the family court judge found that the husband violated the preliminary injunction and, as a sanction for violating the Preliminary Injunction, ordered that he pay my client’s attorney fees. The judge also entered a judgment against the husband for my client’s (the divorce attorney) half of the funds.

Make no mistake; Arizona family law court judges take the preliminary injunction very seriously. The idea behind the injunction is to force the parties to play fair and to prevent one party from disposing of community assets for his or her own purposes. You will note that the injunction also applies to conduct involving minor children. A violation of any of the restrictions enumerated in the Preliminary Injunction can be expensive and can result in significant sanctions from the family law judge.

If you find yourself involved in an Arizona divorce, make sure you DUI attorney mesa az before doing anything with any community assets or taking actions involving minor children (such as taking them out of state, etc.). It is never a good idea to take things into your own hands without written permission from either your spouse or the family law court. Failure to follow the orders contained in the Preliminary Injunction can be costly and damage your credibility with the family law judge.

 

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Call us today and schedule your divorce consultation with one of our Arizona Divorce Attorneys. With offices in MesaChandler, Glendale, Florence, Globe, and Gilbert we are ready to help.


Our team of family law attorneys and divorce attorneys look forward to helping you when you need it most. With over two decades of aggressive divorce, child custody, child support, and divorce mediation representation we will not allow you to be taken advantage of. We believe in making a difference in the lives of our clients and their children.


Mesa, AZ – Office

Located in Mesa Arizona, on Val Vista and Southern Avenue. Our Family Law Attorneys and Divorce Lawyers in Mesa AZ have been helping our clients achieve the legal results they are searching for. Our Mesa Law Firm offers Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.

Jensen Family Law in Mesa AZ
3740 E. Southern Ave Suite 210
Mesa, AZ 85206
(480) 999-2321
https://www.familylawattorneymesaaz.net/mesa

Chandler, AZ – Office

Located On Dobson Road, just North of W. Chandler Blvd, near the 101 Freeway. We have a team of the Best Divorce Lawyers and Family Law Attorneys in Chandler Arizona. Our Chandler Law Firm offers Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.

Jensen Family Law in Chandler AZ
333 N. Dobson Rd #5
Chandler, AZ 85224
(480) 632-2083
https://www.familylawattorneymesaaz.net/chandler

Gilbert, AZ – Office

Located in South East Gilbert, Near Higley High School on Pecos Road, West of Power Road in the Power Ranch Neighborhood. Our Gilbert Law Firm offers Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.

Jensen Family Law in Gilbert AZ
4365 E. Pecos Rd Suite 138
Gilbert, AZ 85295
(480) 900-2302
https://www.familylawattorneymesaaz.net/gilbert

Florence, AZ – Office

Located in the Community of Anthem in Florence Arizona, off of Hunt Hwy. Our Florence Law Firm is staffed with family law attorneys that offer Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.

Jensen Family Law in Florence AZ
3281 N. Hunt Hwy Suite 111
Florence, AZ 85132
(480) 632-1120
https://www.familylawattorneymesaaz.net/florence

Glendale, AZ – Office

Located in Glendale Arizona, off of Hunt Hwy. Our Florence Law Firm is staffed with family law attorneys that offer Divorce Mediation, Uncontested Divorce, Contested Divorce, Legal Separation, Female Divorce Lawyers, Annulment, Child Support Issues, Child Custody, Military Divorce, Parenting Plans, Prenuptial Agreements, Postnuptial Agreements, Grandparents Rights, Paternity, Order of Protection, Name Change and all Family Law legal issues.

Jensen Family Law in Glendale AZ
7075 West Bell Road Suite 5
Glendale, AZ 85308
(602) 834-8585
https://www.familylawattorneymesaaz.net/glendale/




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Jensen Family Law in Mesa is located on 3740 E Southern Ave Suite 210, 85206 Mesa, Arizona. From Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX), Take S 41st St to E Sky Harbor Blvd, then head west on E Sky Harbor Blvd and Use the left lane to take the exit toward S 41st St. Then Turn right onto S 41st St. After that, Continue straight to stay on S 41st St, then Take AZ-202 Loop E, AZ-101 Loop S and US-60 E to S Val Vista Dr in Mesa. Take exit 184 from US-60 E after that Merge onto E Sky Harbor Blvd, then Use the left 2 lanes to merge onto AZ-202 Loop E toward Tempe/Mesa and Use the right 3 lanes to take exit 9 to merge onto AZ-101 Loop S. After that, Use the right 2 lanes to take exit 55A-B to merge onto US-60 E toward Globe, then Take exit 184 for Val Vista Dr. Then Continue on S Val Vista Dr to your destination and Turn left onto S Val Vista Dr. Turn right onto E Southern Ave, then turn left and Destination will be on the right.

We’re open 9 AM – 5 PM Monday – Friday and we are closed on Saturday and Sunday.

For additional questions you can call us at (480) 999-2321 or you can find us on Yelp.