Tulsa Attorney BlogWhat is the Automatic Temporary Injunction in Oklahoma Divorce Cases?

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Video Transcribed:  What is the automatic temporary injunction in an Oklahoma divorce case? I’m Tulsa attorney James Wirth, and we’re about to talk about the automatic temporary injunction.

Okay, so in Oklahoma, when you file for a divorce, you’ve got to serve notice over to the other side with a summons, and attached to that summons, by Oklahoma law, is going to be notice of an automatic temporary injunction, and that injunction automatically goes in effect to the petitioner when they file it, and it goes into effect as to the respondent when it is served upon them. And it basically requires that things maintain the status quo, that you go about the normal course of business.

But specifically, it’s got things in there that you need to refrain from doing and other things, as far as gathering information to provide to the other side. So what it provides is it restrains the parties from damaging/destroying tangible property.

That includes electronic records. It prevents the parties from withdrawing for any purposes out of retirement accounts, pensions, profit-sharing and employee benefit plans, from withdrawing or borrowing in any manner against life insurance policies, from altering the beneficiary of life insurance policies, for canceling/altering car insurance or health insurance, from opening and diverting mail for the other party, from signing or endorsing the other party’s names on documents, requires the parties to maintain health insurance coverage as it is, prevents the parties from disturbing the peace.

Withdrawing the kids from school or educational facilities, prevents the parties from hiding or secreting the kids, restrains the parties from removing the children outside of the state of Oklahoma, except for a maximum of two weeks for a vacation. And those are all the things that you’re prevented from doing. But generally speaking, just go about your normal course of business.

Then, it talks about the documentation you need to get together within 30 days, and that is two years’ past tax returns, two months’ most recent pay stubs, six months of bank account information, costs and documentation regarding health insurance for the parties and the kids, costs and the nature of employment or educational related childcare, information regarding the debts. So all of these things need to be obtained, the documents, get together and provide to the other side within 30 days of the automatic temporary injunction being effective.

Now, once you’re served with this, if you have an objection to something that’s inside the automatic temporary injunction, if you have a specific thing that needs to be done that this would prevent you from doing, then there’s two things that you can do.

One, both parties can sign off on it and say that you’re going to waive certain exemptions or create some exemptions to automatic temporary injunction. Or, if only one party has to do it, you need to file an objection within three days of service of the automatic temporary injunction on you and request a hearing on it, and then that issue can go before the judge.

A lot of them we see, since this order is going to be in place while the divorce is pending, which means it could be in place for months and months, some cases years, during that time, sometimes the parties want to sell real property, so there may be an agreement to allow that outside of the automatic temporary injunction.

There’s other things like that. So you can either handle it through an objection to that ATI, the automatic temporary injunction, or you can handle it as part of a temporary order hearing while you’re waiting to get a final decree.

But in any case, whether you’re filing the petition or it’s served upon you, if you’re looking at divorce, there are certain things that you may want to change that you need to do before the automatic temporary injunction goes into place.

Sometimes we have joint accounts with a lot of money in them, and there’s fear that when they find out that you filed for divorce, they’re going to take all that money out of the account. So sometimes in preparation for filing, it may make sense to go ahead and take half the money out of those accounts, set up separate accounts for yourself.

And you can’t do it after you file because that’d be a violation of the ATI, so you have certain types of planning that you want to do ahead of filing for a divorce. So if you’re in this scenario, have questions about the ATI or pre-divorce planning, you’re going to want to talk to an attorney about your specific circumstances. To talk to somebody at my office, go to MakeLawEasy.com.

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