Filing divorce papers triggers certain automatic court orders that protect you, your spouse and any children of this marriage or civil union. If you are the plaintiff, the automatic orders apply to you when you sign the Complaint. If you are the defendant, the automatic orders apply to you when you are served with the Summons and Complaint.
Once the automatic orders take effect, you may not go into unreasonable debt, sell your property without your spouse’s agreement, change medical or life insurance coverage, or force your spouse to leave your home. If you have children, automatic orders prevent you from moving your children out of state and require you to take part in a parenting education program. The automatic court orders apply to you unless there is already a court order which is different than one of these orders. See the Notice of Automatic Court Orders (JD-FM-158). If you do not obey the automatic court orders, you can be found in contempt of court and punished.
If you want to change the automatic orders, you may file a motion to modify them using the Motion for Modification (JDFM- 174). Be sure to check the “other” box and state the automatic court order you want changed.
If you need other court orders, fill out the Motion for Orders Before Judgment (Pendente Lite) in Family Cases (JD-FM-176) and have it served (delivered) with the Summons, Complaint, and Notice of Automatic Court Orders.