Is It Okay to Spend Money After a Divorce is Filed in Washington?

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Is It Okay to Spend Money After a Divorce is Filed in Washington?
Written By: Josh Lowell ~ 1/15/2024


When you're navigating the complexities of divorce in Washington state, it's crucial to be aware of the legal implications surrounding your financial activities during the process. Many counties in Washington immediately enter a temporary financial restraining order when a divorce is first filed. This Court Order often outlines specific rules on how parties can spend money and handle assets and insurance policies during the divorce proceedings.

Understanding Temporary Financial Restraining Orders:

A temporary financial restraining order is a court-issued directive designed to maintain the status quo and protect the interests of both parties during a divorce. While the specifics may vary, these orders generally allow parties to spend money in the normal course of business, pay for attorney fees, and cover basic living necessities. However, they often impose restrictions on certain financial activities to prevent any unfair advantages or potential harm to either party.

Permissible Spending:

Temporary financial restraining orders typically permit spending on ordinary living expenses, attorney fees, and essential business transactions. This ensures that both parties can maintain their financial stability and have equal access to resources during the divorce process. It's essential to keep in mind that these orders usually do not allow for significant changes in financial status, such as selling major assets, incurring substantial non-regular debt, or altering insurance policies without court approval or without an agreement from the other party.

Consequences of Violating the Order:

Violating a temporary financial restraining order can have serious consequences. Courts take these orders seriously, and parties found in violation may face penalties or sanctions. Common repercussions include being held in contempt of court, financial penalties, or even modifications to the final divorce settlement to account for any unfair advantages gained through improper financial actions.

Importance of Legal Guidance:

Given the intricacies of temporary financial restraining orders, it is imperative to consult with an experienced divorce attorney if you have any questions or concerns regarding spending during divorce proceedings. A knowledgeable attorney can provide guidance on what types of spending are permissible and help you navigate the legal complexities to avoid potential consequences.

Navigating the financial aspects of a divorce in Washington can be challenging, especially with the presence of temporary financial restraining orders. Understanding the limitations and permissions outlined in these orders is crucial to avoid legal complications and ensure a fair and equitable resolution. If you have questions or concerns about spending during your divorce, call the law office of Magnuson Lowell PS today for a free telephone case evaluation.

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