In Colorado, the commencement of a divorce case is governed by Colorado Revised Statutes section 14-10-107. A divorce case is opened when either of the spouses files what is known as a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the Court. The spouse that files the Petition will from then on be known as the Petitioner, and the non-filing spouse will be known as the Respondent. Spouses can also file jointly, and if they do, they are known as the Petitioner and Co-Petitioner.
Every Petition for Dissolution of Marriage is required by C.R.S. § 14-10-107 to set forth certain information, such as each party’s length of residence in Colorado, the date and place of the marriage, and the names, ages and addresses of any living children of the marriage, among other statistical information.
Furthermore, C.R.S. section 14-10-107 provides that upon the commencement of a divorce proceeding by either spouse, that the other spouse shall be personally served with the Petition and Summons in the manner provided by the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, which govern the process of a civil court case in Colorado.
Once a Petition for Dissolution has been filed with the Court, and once service of the Petition and Summons has been executed on the other party (the Respondent) according to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, a temporary injunction shall immediately take effect until the divorce proceeding is either finalized or dismissed. The same applies for a Legal Separation case.
This temporary injunction restrains both parties from transferring, encumbering, concealing, or in any way disposing of any marital property without either the consent of the other party or of the Court, except in the usual course of business or for the necessities of life. Parties are further required to notify the other party about any proposed extraordinary expenditures, and to account to the Court for all extraordinary expenditures made after the injunction takes effect.
This injunction also enjoins both parties from molesting or disturbing the peace of the other party, restrains both parties from removing a minor child or children of the parties from the state of Colorado without consent of the other party or the Court, and it restrains both parties from canceling or modifying insurance policies. (The injunction regarding the children also applies to any child custody or “Allocation of Parental Responsibilities” case.)
In short, once a divorce case is opened by one party, and the other part is properly served, both parties are more or less required by order of the Court to keep the status quo. Unfortunately, sometimes a party to a divorce case does not abide by this temporary injunction. Luckily, in those cases, Colorado law provides mechanisms to hold parties who don’t abide by these temporary injunctions accountable. If you or a loved one has questions about temporary injunctions in a divorce case, or just questions about divorce in general, please feel free to call us anytime.