What’s the Difference Between Temporary Restraining Orders and Preliminary or Permanent Injunctions?

If the terms “temporary restraining order,” “preliminary injunction” and “permanent injunction” have been tossed around by your spouse’s Salt Lake City divorce attorney when threatening to ruin your life, you are probably looking for the meaning for these three words.

And while you may have heard about celebrities getting temporary restraining orders against other celebs (for example, in 2016, Amber Heard obtained a temporary restraining order against Johnny Depp in a controversial scandal involving domestic abuse), you are probably not familiar with the term “injunction.”

Luckily for you, we have an experienced family law attorney Salt Lake City at The Ault Firm to help you understand the meaning of these words as well as the difference between them.

What does a temporary restraining order (TRO) mean?

Let’s start with something you are more or less familiar with: a temporary restraining order (TRO). A TRO is an order used by a court to protect a person (in divorce cases, a spouse) from another person (the other spouse) by telling him or her to do something or stop doing something.

The most common reasons why courts issue temporary restraining orders include but are not limited to encouraging a spouse to stop physical violence against the other spouse, prohibiting a spouse from being anywhere near the other spouse, and encouraging a spouse to move out of the marital house for the sake of the other spouse’s or their children’s safety.

When do courts issue temporary restraining orders?

Our Salt Lake City mediation attorney explains that more often than not, temporary restraining orders are obtained as part of a divorce action. Usually, one of the spouses is granted a TRO against the other spouse without letting the other spouse know about it. Then, the TRO is served to the abusive spouse by authorities or law enforcement.

Is there is a temporary restraining order against your spouse in place, there is a high likelihood that the TRO can affect the outcome of your divorce, including but not limited to helping you negotiate a favorable divorce settlement.

However, do not be naïve to think that courts grant temporary restraining orders left and right, without giving much thought into it. A court will grant a TRO only when the requesting spouse can prove that immediate and irreparable harm will be suffered unless the temporary restraining order is issued by the court.

The difference between a temporary restraining order and injunction

For those of you wondering, a temporary restraining order is effective for 10 days in Utah. After the first ten-day period, the court will hold a hearing (the so-called Order to Show Cause hearing) to decide whether or not it is necessary to keep the TRO in effect for longer.

If the spouse against whom the temporary restraining order was issued has complied with the terms of the TRO, the court is more likely to dismiss the order. If the spouse fails to prove his or her compliance with the order, or the requesting spouse convinces the court that the risk of immediate and irreparable harm persists, the court might extend the duration of the order, which will reclassify it into a preliminary injunction and kept until the divorce decree is issued.

When the divorce decree is issued, a preliminary injunction is reclassified into a permanent injunction. A permanent injunction can be ordered by a court as a final order in the divorce decree, permanently ordering one or both spouses to do something or stop doing something. Violations of a permanent injunction may prompt the court to find the spouse in contempt of court and impose penalties.

If you are considering to request a temporary restraining order against your spouse or have been served the TRO by authorities, it is highly advised that you consult with a Salt Lake City divorce attorney at The Ault Legal. Schedule a consultation with our lawyers by calling at 801-539-9000.

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