One of the most important outcomes of a divorce is the division of marital property. However, a divorce can take months. In the meantime, there are costs that need to be covered. Some of these will be shared costs such as the mortgage on the family home. Others will be individual costs such as food, clothes and travel.
Along the way, it is not uncommon for spouses to get into disagreements because one believes the other is unfairly depleting marital assets before they can be divided. Thankfully, there are protections in place to prevent misuse of marital assets, or to address it if it occurs while the divorce is in progress.
Automatic Temporary Injunctions In Divorce
When a petition for dissolution of marriage is filed in Colorado, a temporary injunction goes into effect automatically. One of the key elements of this injunction is that it restrains both spouses from "transferring, encumbering, concealing, or in any way disposing of" marital assets outside of ordinary expenditures. If spending outside of the ordinary is necessary for any reason, the spouse doing the spending must notify the other spouse and the expenditure must be accounted for to the court. It may then be taken into account when determining how the remaining marital assets will be divided.
In addition to this automatic protection, people going through a divorce can also seek temporary orders that can dictate how things like marital debt are paid while the divorce is pending, as well as set up temporary payments of spousal or child support.
If one spouse violates a temporary injunction or temporary order during a divorce, there are remedies that the other spouse can use to address it in terms of property division and protect their claim to a fair share of the marital assets.