For individuals who are preparing to go through a divorce, especially those in deeply-strained relationships, it is natural to wonder what options are available for protecting your property. From a legal perspective, a divorce is largely about ensuring a fair distribution of the divorcing spouses’ marital assets; but, how do you make sure that you still have assets available to be fairly distributed?

Fortunately, the answer – at least in Collin County – is that legally protecting your property during your divorce is generally a fairly straightforward process. In fact, when you file for divorce in Collin County (or when your spouse files), there are “standing orders” that automatically go into effect in order to preserve your property.

“Standing Orders” In a Collin County Divorce

In Collin County, when either spouse files for divorce, there are temporary restraining orders (referred to as “standing orders”) that go into effect immediately upon filing and service of the divorce papers. These standing orders apply to both spouses, and they apply regardless of whether either spouse wants them in place – or even knows that they apply.

These standing orders cover a number of different topics, one of which is preservation of assets. More specifically, the automatic restraining orders in a Collin County divorce prevent both spouses from:

  • Disposing of assets or paying off debts without providing advance notice to the court (however, you are generally free to continue to pay your bills and any expenses related to your divorce);
  • Making frivolous or extraordinary purchases;
  • Destroying personal or business financial records; and,
  • Cancelling or modifying any insurance policies.

In a nutshell, the standing orders are designed to maintain the status quo. You and your spouse must both avoid making gifts, payments or purchases that could interfere with the divorce proceedings or affect the distribution of assets in your divorce.

Additional Temporary Restraining Orders

If the standing orders do not address your specific concerns, you can seek additional restraining orders from the court. These temporary restraining orders (TROs) can prohibit specific conduct and preserve specific assets where there may be a question as to whether the standing orders are sufficient to protect your rights.

What If My Spouse Won’t Comply?

Violating a court order is serious business, and if your spouse violates one of the standing orders or another TRO, he or she could face significant ramifications. Ignorance is not a defense, and regardless of the reason for your spouse’s violation, you are entitled to protection of your legal rights. If your spouse violates a restraining order during your divorce, the best thing you can do is consult with your attorney about taking legal action to enforce his or her obligations in court.

Speak With a McKinney Family Lawyer at Nordhaus Walpole, PLLC Today

At Nordhaus Walpole, PLLC, we provide experienced legal representation for divorcing spouses in Collin County, Texas. To schedule a free, confidential consultation, please call (214) 726-1450 or contact us online today.