Elkouri Heath, PLC


39555 Orchard Hill Place, Suite 215, Novi, MI 48375

Financial Restraining Orders in Michigan

 Posted on March 04, 2024 in Divorce

MI divorce lawyerYou have likely heard the term “restraining order” used to refer to personal protection orders, which can be used to prevent an abuser from being near or contacting the abused party. However, restraining orders can also be applied to financial accounts and property. Some spouses will react to being served with divorce papers by immediately draining any joint or personal accounts that they still have access to before the court can divide marital assets. This can leave the spouse who filed in a very difficult position. This may be done in an effort to “guard” property one spouse believes should belong solely to them, especially if it is in their name, even if the other spouse contributed and may be entitled to a portion of that account. To prevent this from happening, your Novi, MI, divorce lawyer may file a financial restraining order as soon as they file your complaint for divorce.

When a Financial Restraining Order May be Needed

If your divorce is contentious or may become contentious, you may need financial restraining orders to prevent your spouse from simply emptying out your joint accounts or removing marital property from your possession. Factors that may indicate you need financial restraining orders include:

  • Your divorce is high-conflict, 
  • Your spouse has a history of financial irresponsibility,
  • You are a homemaker or financially dependent on your spouse’s income, 
  • Your spouse has or may have hidden assets, or
  • Your spouse has a history of restricting you from accessing your marital finances. 

What Risks Are Involved if I Do Not Use Financial Restraining Orders?

The major risk is that your spouse will promptly drain any accounts they have access to, even if part of those accounts rightfully belong to you. For example, if you share a joint bank account, you may attempt to use your debit card only to discover that the balance is $0.00 because your spouse has withdrawn all the money. Your spouse may also attempt to cash in their entire retirement plan, sell your vehicle if their name is on the title, or sell off any other valuable assets you may own without your permission.

A court can order your spouse to return all or some of that money or property to your possession, but enforcing the order may prove impossible. Some spouses will quickly spend that money, put it in the control of another party such as by depositing it into their sister’s account, or even disappear entirely.

Contact an Oakland County, MI, Divorce Attorney

Elkouri Heath, PLC is experienced in dealing with financial issues during divorce. Our practiced Novi, MI, divorce lawyers will immediately request any necessary financial restraining orders to protect you. Contact us at 248-344-9700 for a complimentary consultation.

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