What Am I Not Allowed to Do During a Divorce?

What Am I Not Allowed to Do During a Divorce?

The divorce process is not one size fits all. In an amicable divorce, the spouses agree on all of the issues. Other divorces are contentious, and the disputes are difficult to resolve. Emotions from one or both parties may arise and intensify once the divorce case begins. The divorcing couple may try to do things to give themselves an advantage in the divorce. They also may try to affect the soon-to-be ex-spouse negatively. Oregon has laws that prevent married couples from specific acts during the divorce case.

The termination of a marriage in Oregon begins when a spouse files the petition for dissolution of marriage in the appropriate court. The filing spouse is the petitioner and must file the petition in the county where the petitioner or the respondent resides. The other party, the respondent, must receive notice of the filing in a summons and a copy of the petition.

Once the respondent receives the petition and summons, an automatic restraining order goes into effect until the court gives a final judgment or dismisses the dissolution case. The restraining order prohibits the petitioner and respondent from specific actions, including:

  • Canceling, modifying, or allowing nonpayment of premiums for insurance policies that cover the other spouse or children
  • Changing beneficiaries on insurance policies that cover the other spouse or children
  • Transferring or selling property the other spouse has an interest
  • Making extraordinary purchases without written notice to the other spouse

Any party is in contempt of court if they violate the automatic restraining order. The judge may place remedial sanctions on any party that violates the automatic restraining order. Such sanctions are penalties for failing to comply with the order. The court may remove the sanctions once the violating party complies with the order.

The judgment for dissolution of marriage terminates the marriage. However, during the case, the parties remain married. Under state law, a person who weds someone while legally married to someone else commits the crime of bigamy. Therefore, a spouse cannot marry another person during the divorce process.

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