Injunctions that Go into Place When a Divorce is Filed and Served

By Jedidiah McKeehan

Oftentimes in a divorce case I will have a conversation with the client and they will say something like, “the second they get the paperwork they are going to go empty out our bank accounts.” I tell them, “Well, they may, but once they are served, there are consequences if they do so because once they are served there are temporary injunctions that go into place that prevent them from cleaning out your all’s assets.”

The injunctions that go into place once a divorce is filed and served can be found at Tennessee Code Annotated section 36-4-106, and I have listed them below, in full:

(1)(A) An injunction restraining and enjoining both parties from transferring, assigning, borrowing against, concealing or in any way dissipating or disposing, without the consent of the other party or an order of the court, of any marital property. Nothing herein is intended to preclude either of the parties from seeking broader injunctive relief from the court.

(B) Expenditures from current income to maintain the marital standard of living and the usual and ordinary costs of operating a business are not restricted by this injunction. Each party shall maintain records of all expenditures, copies of which shall be available to the other party upon request.

(2) An injunction restraining and enjoining both parties from voluntarily canceling, modifying, terminating, assigning, or allowing to lapse for nonpayment of premiums, any insurance policy, including, but not limited to, life, health, disability, homeowners, renters, and automobile, where such insurance policy provides coverage to either of the parties or the children, or that names either of the parties or the children as beneficiaries without the consent of the other party or an order of the court. “Modifying” includes any change in beneficiary status.

(3) An injunction restraining both parties from harassing, threatening, assaulting or abusing the other and from making disparaging remarks about the other to or in the presence of any children of the parties or to either party’s employer.

(4) An injunction restraining and enjoining both parties from hiding, destroying or spoiling, in whole or in part, any evidence electronically stored or on computer hard drives or other memory storage devices.

(5) An injunction restraining both parties from relocating any children of the parties outside the state, or more than fifty (50) miles from the marital home, without the permission of the other party or an order of the court, except in the case of a removal based upon a well-founded fear of physical abuse against either the fleeing parent or the child. In such cases, upon request of the nonrelocating parent, the court will conduct an expedited hearing, by telephone conference if appropriate, to determine the reasonableness of the relocation and to make such other orders as appropriate.

(6) The provisions of these injunctions shall be attached to the summons and the complaint and shall be served with the complaint. The injunctions shall become an order of the court upon fulfillment of the requirements of this subsection (d). However, nothing in this subsection (d) shall preclude either party from applying to the court for further temporary orders, an expanded temporary injunction, or modification or revocation of this temporary injunction.

(7) The temporary injunctions provided in this section shall only apply to the spousal parties named in the petition and shall not apply to any third party named in the petition; provided, however, that nothing in this subsection (d) shall preclude any party from applying to the court for an order of injunctive or extraordinary relief against any other party named in any petition as provided by law or rule.

Jedidiah McKeehan is an attorney practicing in Knox County and surrounding counties.  He works in many areas, including divorce, custody, criminal, and personal injury. Visit attorney-knoxville.com for more information about this legal issue and other legal issues.

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