A TRO or temporary restraining order is a very common tool the court and lawyers use to maintain the peace during a divorce. The temporary part of a TRO means that it only lasts for a maximum amount of 14 days unless extended by agreement or court order. Suits for divorce, as differentiated from other civil cases, permit the TRO to be entered almost as a matter of course and it is typically extended to last the duration of the divorce until final.
When and if one of the parties subject to the order violates the order, that party can be held in contempt, fined or jailed for each violation. In order to be subject to the order, a suit for divorce must be filed and the order must have been served on the restrained party.
The following items are customarily granted by and between either party or both. As you can see, these restraints allow a family to stop the bleeding and give everyone a chance to calm down without wrecking the family finances. The restrictions apply to everything from making prank calls to canceling the water and electricity accounts.
1. Communicating with the other party in person, by telephone, or in writing in vulgar, profane, obscene, or indecent language or in a coarse or offensive manner.
2. Threatening the other party in person, by telephone, or in writing to take unlawful action against any person.
3. Placing one or more telephone calls, anonymously, at any unreasonable hour, in an offensive and repetitious manner, or without a legitimate purpose of communication.
4. Causing bodily injury to the other party.
5. Threatening the other party with imminent bodily injury.
6. Destroying, removing, concealing, encumbering, transferring, or otherwise harming or reducing the value of the property of one or both of the parties.
7. Falsifying any writing or record relating to the property of either party.
8. Misrepresenting or refusing to disclose to the other party or to the Court, on proper request, the existence, amount, or location of any property of one or both of the parties.
9. Damaging or destroying the tangible property of one or both of the parties, including any document that represents or embodies anything of value.
10. Tampering with the tangible property of one or both of the parties, including any document that represents or embodies anything of value, and causing pecuniary loss to the other party.
11. Selling, transferring, assigning, mortgaging, encumbering, or in any other manner alienating any of the property of the other party or the other party, whether personalty or realty, and whether separate or community, except as specifically authorized by order of this Court.
12. Incurring any indebtedness, other than legal expenses in connection with this suit, except as specifically authorized by order of this Court.
13. Making withdrawals from any checking or savings account in any financial institution for any purpose, except as specifically authorized by order of this Court.
14. Spending any sum of cash in the other party’s possession or subject to the other party’s control for any purpose, except as specifically authorized by order of this Court.
15. Withdrawing or borrowing in any manner for any purpose from any retirement, profit-sharing, pension, death, or other employee benefit plan or employee savings plan or from any individual retirement account or Keogh account, except as specifically authorized by order of this Court.
16. Entering any safe-deposit box in the name of or subject to the control of the other party whether individually or jointly with others.
17. Withdrawing or borrowing in any manner all or any part of the cash surrender value of life insurance policies on the life of either party, except as specifically authorized by order of this Court.
18. Changing or in any manner altering the beneficiary designation on any life insurance on the life of either party.
19. Canceling, altering, failing to renew or pay premiums, or in any manner affecting the present level of coverage of any life, casualty, automobile, or health insurance policies insuring the parties’ property or persons.
20. Opening or diverting mail addressed to the other party.
21. Signing or endorsing the other party’s name on any negotiable instrument, check, or draft, such as tax refunds, insurance payments, and dividends, or attempting to negotiate any negotiable instrument payable to the other party without the personal signature of the other party.
22. Taking any action to terminate or limit credit or charge cards in the name of the other party.
23. Discontinuing or reducing the withholding for federal income taxes on the other party’s wages or salary while this case is pending.
24. Destroying, disposing of, or altering any financial records of the parties, including but not limited to records from financial institutions (including canceled checks and deposit slips), all records of credit purchases or cash advances, tax returns, and financial statements.
25. Destroying, disposing of, or altering any e-mail or other electronic data relevant to the subject matters of this case, whether stored on a hard drive or on a diskette or other electronic storage device.
26. Terminating or in any manner affecting the service of water, electricity, gas, telephone, cable television, or other contractual services, such as security, pest control, landscaping, or yard maintenance, at the homestead or in any manner attempting to withdraw any deposits for service in connection with those services.
27. Excluding the other party from the use and enjoyment of the homestead.
28. Entering, operating, or exercising control over the vehicle in the possession of the other party.
For more information contact:
Kelly W. Decker
Decker, Jones, McMackin,
McClane, Hall, & Bates, P.C.
801 Cherry Street, Unit #46
Burnett Plaza, Suite 2000
Fort Worth, Texas 76102-6836
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