What are Temporary Restraining Orders

A Temporary Restraining Order (“TRO”) is a court order that prohibits one or both of the parties from doing certain things during the pendency of a case.  A TRO is usually issued at the beginning of a case and stays in effect until it is either modified by the Court or the case ends.  A TRO can be the result of a request by one of the parties or a mutual TRO can be issued by the court at the beginning of a case.  A mutual TRO restrains both parties.  A TRO can also restrain a third party defendant to a case, such as a financial institution, from allowing one or both of the parties to do something (ie. withdraw money from a retirement account).  In an Ohio divorce, TRO’s typically prohibit dissipating assets, harassing the other party, incurring debt, changing or cancelling insurance coverage, and/or permanently removing minor children from the county in which the TRO is issued.

As a domestic relations attorney, I typically have clients tell me that they do not want to request a TRO against their spouse either because they do not believe that their spouse would do those types of things or because they do not want to anger their spouse.  However, TRO’s are common in divorce cases.  Most attorneys do not draft requests for TRO’s containing any information specific to the parties or accusing the other party of doing anything wrong.  TRO’s are simply a form of protection against one party doing something inappropriate or detrimental during a highly emotional time in their life.

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