OK, so you've filed for divorce, or as we say in Arizona, you've filed a petition for dissolution of marriage. What happens next?
Pending hearing on the petition, several matters are handled by preliminary injunction (and temporary orders, which will be the subject of a later post). Pursuant to A.R.S. § 25-315A(1), a preliminary injunction is issued by the superior court clerk against both parties in every action for dissolution of marriage or for legal separation upon filing the petition (an injunction is a court order prohibiting a party from doing specified things). The injunction enjoins (prohibits) each party from:
- transferring, encumbering, concealing, selling, or otherwise disposing of any of the joint, common, or community property of the parties except in the usual course of business or for necessities of life, without the written consent of the parties or the permission of the court;
- molesting, harassing, disturbing the peace of or committing an assault or battery on the person of the other party or any natural or adopted child of the parties;
- removing any natural or adopted child of the parties then residing in Arizona from the court's jurisdiction without the prior written consent of the parties or the permission of the court (stepchildren can be removed).
In Maricopa County, additional information is required: the gender, race, date of birth, height, weight, color of eyes, color of hair, and social security number of each party must be specified. The issuance of the preliminary injunction is automatic, whether requested or not.
The petitioner (the person who filed for divorce) is deemed to have actual notice of the preliminary injunction by filing the action; the injunction is effective against the petitioner as soon as the petition is filed. It is effective against the respondent (the other spouse) when a copy of the order is served on him or her. The order is usually served upon the respondent with a copy of the summons and petition. When service is by registered mail, the injunction is effective upon receipt by the respondent.
The preliminary injunction may be revoked or modified by the court. Otherwise, it remains in effect until a final decree is entered or until the action is dismissed. The provisions of the injunction do not prejudice the rights of any child or of the parties at a later hearing.
The automatic preliminary injunction has the force and effect of an order signed by the judge and it is enforceable by all available remedies including contempt. The injunction must contain a warning that if either party disobeys any provision of the official order, he or she may be arrested and prosecuted for the crime of interfering with judicial proceedings. Either party may file a certified copy of the preliminary injunction with the local law enforcement agency. If there has been any history of domestic violence against you, that is exactly what I would recommend.
If you are facing divorce, child support, or
child custody issues anywhere in the Phoenix area, you need an experienced and aggressive
Phoenix divorce lawyer fighting for you. So contact us right away for a free consultation.