NOTE: ONLY APPLIES TO DISSOLUTION OF MARRIAGE AND LEGAL SEPARATION. Upon the other spouse being served, or signing a waiver, in a Colorado divorce or Colorado legal separation case, C.R.S. 14-10-107(4)(b)(I) puts an automatic injunction in effect which prohibits both spouses from:
- Removing the children from Colorado without permission from the other spouse or the family law court. Depending upon the children's ages, a Colorado divorce court would typically grant permission to take an out-of-state vacation, but, over the other spouse's objection, chances of relocating permanently while a divorce in Colorado is pending, are slim to none.
- Disturbing or harassing the other spouse.
- Hiding, destroying, transferring or disposing of marital property, except in the ordinary course of business.
- Canceling or modifying any insurance (health, auto, life, etc.) without your spouse's written consent or the Colorado divorce court's permission, or allowing the policy to lapse for non-payment.
Note that the prohibited list of actions does not explicitly include canceling a power of attorney (POA), canceling joint credit cards, opening a new bank account and having one's paycheck deposited into the new account, or taking one's name off from utility or other bills connected with a residence where the other spouse is residing.
However, there is a heated debate amongst Colorado family law attorneys about whether the injunction prevents any of these actions. So while immediately canceling the POA is fine, before taking any irregular financial action, or closing off any joint accounts, consult with your Colorado divorce attorney to make sure the action is permitted, advisable, and also would not leave your spouse in the lurch (don't want to find out the credit card was canceled when driving in the middle of nowhere with three kids and no cash!)
Though the injunction does not explicitly prohibit transfers prior to service of process, don't do it. Every family lawyer has had a client who thought he/she could beat the system, and transferred the $30K mutual fund to a brother or other family member before filing, thinking no one would know, or that the Court could do about it. As indicated in the section on the division of marital property, such dissipation of marital assets invariably land that spouse in hot water.
Finally, as indicated above, the injunction only applies to dissolution of marriage and legal separation cases. It is a curious distinction, since an annulment case involves the property division issues as in a divorce, and a parent in an allocation of parental responsibilities case would not want to see the other parent move the child out of state while the case was pending. If you have a family law case not covered by the injunction, but have reason to believe the other party may remove the children from the state or dispose of joint assets, your Colorado family law attorney may be able to ask the court for a similar injunction as the case commences.