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What is a Standing Order in a Divorce Case?

When the process of a divorce is started, the court will generally issue certain orders that are to be obeyed while the divorce is happening, they are known as automatic domestic standing orders.  In Georgia, the standing order is put in place to protect both of the divorcing spouses from misconduct.  A violation of any of the standing orders can result in some jail time due to being in contempt of the court.  The standing orders vary from county to county, for example, in Fulton county the divorcing spouses are restricted from:

  • Removing minor children from jurisdiction of the court
  • Harming, harassing or threatening the other spouse or the children
  • Disposing of or removing marital property
  • Changing or terminating insurance coverage
  • You are required to complete a domestic intake worksheet and turn it in to the court.  The purpose of the worksheet is to provide financial information to the court
  • If there are children present, you may have to attend a Families in Transition workshop

The standing order also prohibits either of the divorcing spouses from hiring a third party to do something on their behalf that would be against the standing orders.  It is also good to note that even though there is the word automatic in the name, the standing orders apply to the filer when the action is filed but they will only apply to the other spouse until they are served with the complaint and the standing order.

If one of the spouses violates the standing order then they will be found in contempt and can face sanctions, fines, or imprisonment.  If you are not sure whether one of your actions could be in violation of the standing order, it is advised that you consult an attorney before you commit the action.  If you think that an exception should be made, you can appeal to the court and wait to see if there is an approval.  There is also the option to file a Temporary Restraining Order if the filer feels like the other spouse may act in threatening fashion or meddle with any of the finances of any joint bank accounts they may have.

If you are facing divorce and need to speak with an experienced attorney, call us at 770-609-1247 to discuss how we can best help you.