Somerville Office

Protect Assets by Freezing Accounts in a New Jersey Divorce

When a divorce is imminent, people can go to extreme measures to conceal, obfuscate, spend, or otherwise take action to keep money and property out of the hands of their spouse. While this reaction is understandable, it is not excusable.

To protect yourself from this possibility in your divorce, you can ask for individual and joint financial accounts to be frozen through a temporary restraining order. Taking this action is often prudent in high-net-worth divorces in New Jersey.

Basics of a Financial Temporary Restraining Order

You can ask the court to issue a temporary restraining order (TRO) while your divorce case is pending. A bank might place a freeze on an account at your request, but they aren’t legally required to do so without a court order.

At Lane & Lane, LLC, we can take the necessary steps to formally request the court issue a temporary restraining order on bank, retirement, investment, and other accounts.

A temporary restraining order accomplishes the following:

  • Not allow large withdrawals from checking or savings accounts
  • Not allow withdrawals from personal pension or retirement accounts
  • Not allow the sale of large amounts of stock
  • Not allow a big cash advance on credit cards
  • Not permit any new accounts or lines of credit to be opened
  • Not permit any new loan applications
  • Not permit the closing of accounts
  • Not allow changing the beneficiaries on any insurance policies
  • Not permitted to give away funds or property
  • Not allow property to be sold

A TRO does not freeze essential transactions, including the following:

  • Use funds to pay rent or mortgage
  • Use funds to pay utilities
  • Use funds to buy groceries
  • Use funds for children’s educational costs
  • Use funds for needed medical and health services

Basic household, living, and legal expenses are allowable under a temporary restraining order. Both spouses are subject to the same rules.

Reasons to Consider Asking for a TRO

If you fear that your spouse will take or has taken vengeful or spiteful measures with your marital property, time is of the essence. A restraining order is an important tool to keep one spouse from keeping money or other items of value away from the other.

You might want to consider a financial restraining order in the following situations:

  • Your spouse uses money to manipulate you.
  • You have caught your spouse hiding assets before.
  • Your spouse has a drug, alcohol, gambling, or other addiction problem.
  • Your spouse has lied about how much money they make.
  • Your spouse has lent money to others without talking with your first.
  • Your spouse has underreported the value of a business or other assets.

The judge determines how long the TRO should be in effect, but it can last until the court divides property in the final order.

Options to Safeguard Assets During a Divorce

When a couple decides to divorce, New Jersey expects the two parties to maintain a financial status quo. Only then can truly equitable division of property occur. A restraining order on bank and other accounts minimizes the risk of one party gaining a monetary upper hand.

If you have concerns about your spouse potentially hiding or squandering assets, contact Lane & Lane, LLC right away. A TRO is only one tactic that can be employed. We also have access to skilled forensic accountants, property appraisers, realtors, business valuation experts, and other professionals to help clarify the value of certain assets.

Get time-tested wisdom and knowledge when you use us for your divorce. Together, we have more than 60 years of experience. Schedule a free initial consultation by calling (908) 259-6673. We have offices in Somerville and Morris Plains.