Recent Change to California Family code Section 2040: The Standard Family
Law Restraining Orders & Child Abduction Prevention
A recent change in California Family Code, Section 2040, will impact the
Standard Family Law Restraining Orders located on the back of the Summons
(Family Law) (Judicial Council Form FL-110).
In California, the restraining orders recited on Judicial Council Form
FL-110 are commonly referred to as “automatic temporary restraining
orders” or “ATROs.” You can read more about these restraining
orders as they are specifically set forth in the California Family Code,
The intent behind the recent change to Family Code Section 2040 is to prevent
child abduction. The California legislature enacted new legislation resulting
in the addition of a new restraining order you should be aware of when
filing your case. Please keep in mind that these restraining orders should
not be read in a vacuum. That is, there are some carefully enumerated
exceptions and when in doubt you should speak to one of our Los Angeles
divorce attorneys to help clarify these issues. That being said, the automatic
temporary restraining orders under Family Code Section 2040 now include
restraining the parties from applying for new or replacement passports
for any minor children of the parties without obtaining prior written
consent of the other party, or a court order.
What Is an ATRO? What Does This Mean?
When filing a
family law case in California, this change highlights the importance of reading and
understanding the restraining orders recited on the Summons (Form FL-110)
before it is served on the other party.
As stated above, on the back of the Summons there are standard family law
restraining orders (“ATROs”) applicable to the filing party
once the Petition is filed. In addition, these restraining orders become
effective when the responding party is served in your divorce, legal separation
or nullity of marriage case. Once again, these procedural rules are highly
technical and if you are in doubt you should always consult and obtain
guidance from a licensed Los Angeles divorce lawyer.
Simply put, the ATROs bind the petitioner (the party who is filing) upon
the filing of the petition for dissolution of marriage and issuance of
the summons, and the respondent (the party who is being served with your
legal documents) upon service.
If you have filed and served the other party in your Southern California
divorce, but were or are unaware of the standard family law restraining
contact one of our Los Angeles divorce attorneys to help you understand just how these restraining orders may impact you
at our office in Los Angeles at (323) 655-2105.
Meanwhile, if you want to learn more about the marital dissolution process
in California, or the standard family law restraining orders, we hope
you will take the time to read our
Basic Guide to California Divorce Procedure.