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What are Standard Family Law Restraining Orders in California?

Posted by Michael Geller | Sep 01, 2022 | 0 Comments

Standard Family Law Restraining Orders (previously known as Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders) are a set of standardized orders that automatically go into effect when a Divorce Petition and Summons are filed and served. These standardized restraining orders remain enforceable and in effect until one of the following occurs:

  • A court order is entered that modifies the restraining orders
  • The divorce petition is dismissed
  • There is a final judgment entered by a family law court.

Restraining Orders Included in FL-110 Summons Form

The Standard Family Law Restraining Orders are actually written on the back (page two) of the FL-110 form, also known as the “Summons" in a divorce proceeding. The summons is a critically important document since it must be served, along with the divorce petition, on your spouse to initiate the divorce process in California.

Restraining Orders Automatically In Effect

As mentioned earlier, there is no need or obligation for either you or your spouse to file a motion requesting any of the four standard restraining orders. They automatically go into effect when the divorce petition and summons are filed.

Basically, when you file the divorce petition, the Standard Family Law Restraining Orders apply to you, the petitioner. When your spouse is personally served, the Standard Family Law Restraining Orders automatically apply to them.

Impact of the Family Law Restraining Orders

The four Standard Family Law Restraining Orders significantly impact and prohibit certain actions from taking place once they are in effect. For example, the impact of these restraining orders includes:

  • Preventing a child, or children, from being removed from California.
  • Restraining certain community or separate property related actions
  • Restraining certain actions against insurance policies
  • Restrain certain non-probate transfers

Ramifications of Violating a Standard Family Law Restraining Order

Spouses are fiduciaries to each other in California. That is a big deal. That fiduciary relationship is at the heart of why the Standard Family Law Restraining Orders exist. It is also why a spouse harmed by the other spouse as a result of an ATRO violation has rights similar to a breach of fiduciary duty action.

The family court can order restitution, lost profits, and more. Sanctions in the form of attorney's fees are usually also a part of any such enforcement action. A contempt action can also be filed for violation of the Standard Family Law Restraining Orders and there is even the potential for criminal prosecution.

Family Code 2041 is also important. It states: "Nothing in Section 2040 adversely affects the rights, title, and interest of a purchaser for value, encumbrancer for value, or lessee for value who is without actual knowledge of the restraining order."

Have Questions About Standard Family Law Restraining Orders? Contact The Geller Firm Today

If you have questions about standard family law restraining orders in Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, or Contra Costa County, California, consider contacting The Geller Firm. Our team of experienced and respected Lafayette divorce attorneys are here to help during this challenging time. We are located in the San Francisco Bay Area and are proud to provide legal services in San Francisco County, Alameda County, Contra Costa County, Marin County, Santa Clara County, and San Mateo County. Our legal team is available for virtual and in-person consultations. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

About the Author

Michael Geller

Michael Geller is an attorney licensed by the State Bar of California.


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