During the divorce process, some clients find themselves in the unfortunate situation of their spouse having violated the court’s domestic relations standing order. The domestic relations standing order is an order of the court that dictates various guidelines for all pending domestic relations cases, including divorce, legitimation, child support and child custody. Most superior courts have their own specific domestic relations standing order that applies to the cases in their jurisdiction. Therefore, the domestic relations standing order in Douglas County is not necessarily the same as the standing order in Cobb County. As an aside, it should be noted that the party who files the divorce is deemed to be under the court’s standing order upon the filing of the case, while the opposing party is deemed to be under the standing order upon service of process. Generally, the standing order dictates that any minor children must remain within the court’s jurisdiction during the pendency of the case and may go so far as to dictate which parent has temporary physical custody of the minor children upon filing of the divorce. Furthermore, and equally as important, all such orders require that the parties preserve the marital estate, meaning that the parties may not transfer, sell, or otherwise encumber the parties’ property (whether held individually or jointly) during the pendency of the divorce case.
IF YOUR SPOUSE VIOLATES THE STANDING ORDER, YOU MUST TAKE ACTION IMMEDIATELY
Some clients will find that their spouse has violated the standing order by engaging in acts such as changing the locks to the marital residence, turning off utilities, canceling health/vehicle insurance, or discontinuing mortgage payments. In these situations, it is of utmost importance that the offended spouse take immediate action by filing a motion and otherwise notifying the court of the opposing spouse’s actions as soon as possible. Often parties who violate the standing order in one manner have been later found to have engaged in other nefarious behavior to the detriment of the other spouse either prior to or during the divorce process. It is imperative that the spouse who violates the standing order be held accountable swiftly to both preserve the marital estate and ensure the future equitable division of the parties’ assets when the case is finally resolved. If you believe your spouse has violated the standing order or you anticipate that he/she will do so upon filing divorce, seek the advice of experienced counsel at The
Faucette Law Firm at (770) 485-6620 as soon as possible.