People who file for divorce in California are often taken by surprise when the courts issue multiple restrictions against them and their spouses. These restrictions are placed on both spouses to prevent them from causing different types of harm to the other while the divorces are pending.
When divorces are pending, both spouses will be prohibited from selling or transferring property. This is meant to keep one spouse from transferring assets away or selling them when they should be included in the division of property that is part of the separation. Both spouses will also be prohibited from emptying their bank accounts. They will be allowed to spend money that is needed to take care of their basic needs but not to go on spending sprees.
People who have children will not be allowed to travel out of state with their children during their divorces without permission from the other spouse. Any agreement for out-of-state travel must be in writing, or parents may need to request permission to travel from the court. If one spouse has the other on his or her medical insurance policy, that spouse will be prohibited from dropping the insurance on the other spouse until the divorce is final.
Understanding the restrictions that will be put into place once divorces are filed may help people to prepare. They might want to meet with financial advisers to learn about how the divorces might impact them financially. They may also want to gather all of the important financial documents before they file because it might be harder to get copies after they have filed their petitions. If one spouse believes that the other has hidden assets to try to keep them from being included in the marital estate, an attorney may use a forensic accountant to locate them.