Divorce law and all family law varies from state to state.
As an attorney licensed and admitted to practice law in New York and New Jersey as well as Florida, I have long been keenly aware of this, and that states may learn much from one another. By extension, parties and practitioners may learn much from their counterparts in other states.
A California attorney has written an instructive article on temporary restraining orders that automatically apply to California divorce court cases under California law. The article does not reflect the law in effect across the state of Florida (although certain counties in Florida do impose some similar automatic restraining orders on a county by county basis).
California’s automatic restraining orders in family court cases are against:
- unilaterally removing common children outside the state
- hiding or disposing of assets of either or both spouses
- altering the beneficiaries of insurance policies in place for the benefit of the other spouse or their common children and
- generating or modifying a nonprobate transfer of property
Not surprisingly, exceptions are made: as permitted by written consent of the other spouse or by court order, for transfers made in the ordinary course of an established business, for established living expenses and for reasonable attorney’s fees.
It is worth noting that, just because the above conduct is not subject to automatic prohibition across the state of Florida, does not mean that the conduct would find favor with a Florida family court if brought to its attention in any particular Florida divorce case. It just means that prohibition is not automatic in Florida.
Quite the contrary, divorcing spouses in Florida should be aware that, upon a proper showing in any Florida divorce court, either spouse may be able to obtain a temporary restraining order prohibiting the same behavior in their Florida divorce court case case, only on a case-by-case basis. And any such behavior already engaged in may be taken into account in the ultimate equitable distribution or property division in the particular Florida family court case.