Whenever a divorce case is filed in Arizona, the court will issue in every case a preliminary injunction that sets forth certain important orders that pertain to both parties, not just the party being served. A common mistake is the filing spouse thinks the preliminary injunction only applies to the spouse being served. This is a dangerous and incorrect assumption. The preliminary injunction issued in Arizona divorce cases will indicate that your spouse has filed a “Petition for Dissolution” (Divorce) or “Petition for Annulment” or “Petition for Legal Separation” with the court. This order is made at the direction of the Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of Arizona in Maricopa County.
This Order has the same force and effect as any order signed by the judge. You and your spouse must obey this Order. This Order may be enforced by any remedy available under the law, including an “Order of Contempt of Court.” To help you understand this Order, the preliminary injunction will contact an explanation. Read the explanation and then read the statute itself. If you have any questions, you should contact a lawyer for help. The explanation contained in the preliminary injunctions issued by Arizona courts states that certain actions are forbidden in the divorce case.
From the time the “Petition for Dissolution” (Divorce) or “Petition for Annulment” or “Petition for Legal Separation” is filed with the court, until the judge signs the Decree, or until further order of the court, both the Petitioner and the Respondent are not permitted to do any of the following things:
- You may not hide earnings or community property from your spouse, AND
- You may not take out a loan on the community property, AND
- 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 necessities of life, such as food, shelter, or clothing, or court fees and attorney fees associated with this action. If this applies to you, you should see a lawyer for help. Also, Do not harass or bother your spouse or the children, AND
- Do not physically abuse or threaten your spouse or the children, AND
- Do not take the minor children, common to your marriage, out of the State of Arizona for any reasons, without a written agreement between you and your spouse or a Court Order, before you take the minor children out of the State.
- Do 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. Other restrictions are that both parties are enjoined from transferring, encumbering, concealing, selling, or otherwise disposing of any of the joint, common or community property of the parties, except if related to the usual course of business, the necessities of life, or court fees and reasonable attorney fees associated with an action filed under this article, without the written consent of the parties or the permission of the court. With regard to behavioral requirements, both parties are enjoined from molesting, harassing, disturbing the peace, or committing an assault or battery on, the person of the other party or any natural or adopted child of the parties.
With regard to restrictions about your minor children common to the spouses, both parties are enjoined from removing any natural or adopted minor child (ren) of the parties, then residing in Arizona, from the jurisdiction of the court without the prior written consent of the parties or the permission of the court. There are also restrictions with regard to insurance. Both parties are enjoined from removing, or causing 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.
With regard to the effective date of the preliminary injunction (Order), the Order is effective against the person who filed for divorce, annulment, or legal separation (the Petitioner) when the Petition was filed with the court. It is effective against the other party (the Respondent) when it is served on the other party, or on actual notice of the Order, whichever is sooner. The Order remains in effect until further order of the court, or the entry of a Decree of Dissolution, Annulment, or Legal Separation. The filing party must serve a copy of the Order upon the Respondent, along with a copy of the Petition for Dissolution, Annulment or Legal Separation, the Summons, and other required court papers.
Violating the preliminary injunction in Arizona divorce cases can have serious consequences. It is an official Court Order. If you disobey this Order, the court may find you in contempt of court. You may also be arrested and prosecuted for the crime of interfering with judicial proceedings and any other crime you may have committed by disobeying the Order. Furthermore, you or your spouse may file a certified copy of the Order with your local law enforcement agency. You may obtain a certified copy from the Clerk of the Court that issues the Order.
If any changes are made to the Order and you have filed a certified copy of this Order with your local law enforcement agency, you must notify them of the changes. So please be careful to not violate the Order (preliminary injunction). If your spouse violates it, you need to move swiftly to bring the matter to the court’s attention and seek appropriate remedies.
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