Divorce Attorney Nashville: Why Statutory Injunction Matters

divorce attorney nashville statutory injunction

Going through a divorce? Don’t let your spouse get the best of you! With the help of a top divorce attorney Nashville you not only gain a better understanding of statutory injunction but you get the support you need to ensure that you abide by the provisions.

Does the statutory injunction really matter?
Jolley v. Jolley, M2011-02550-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 31, 2013) The best advice any divorce attorney Nashville can generally give is “follow the law”. This can be especially true in divorce cases because the mere filing of a divorce triggers a series of statutory injunctions, sometimes referred to as statutory restraining orders. In this post, I’ll discuss why Mr. Jolley finds out the hard way that those injunctions really do matter.

Statutory Injunctions are in every divorce case.
The Tennessee Legislature requires certain items in every divorce complaint, including an automatic injunction. The specific provisions are in T.C.A. s 36-6-104(d), and are intended to protect the martial property, protect financial interests, preserve evidence, and provide for personal safety of the parties and children.

The Problem in Jolley:
In Jolley v. Jolley, the problem was that Mr. Jolley owned some property jointly with his Wife and a third party. After his Wife filed for divorce, he quitclaimed his interest to his brother and sister without his Wife’s knowledge. The Jolley’s later reached an agreement in the divorce, a Marital Dissolution Agreement, which awarded wife specific property (but not the property at issue) and awarded Husband the “balance of assets”. Later, when the “new” owners of the property filed a partition action—an action to sell the jointly held property and divide the proceeds—Husband claimed an interest in the property. He claimed he had an interest since he was awarded the “balance of the assets.”

Soap won’t clean these Unclean Hands.
The Husband lost in the trial court and the court of appeals because of a doctrine called “unclean hands.” We all know this doctrine from grade school: cheaters don’t win. The court found that Mr. Jolley transferred his interest in violation of the statutory restraining orders. Therefore, he had performed an act of contempt and the court refused for him to receive money from the sale based upon his claim that he was awarded the “balance of assets”. Because he gave away his interest in violation of the restraining order, the Court ruled that the property was Wife’s separate property and she was awarded the funds from the partition sale.

Follow the law!
Statutory injunctions do have teeth. Violations of the injunctions can lead to contempt actions, forfeiture of property, or other negative consequences in the division of assets. Also, these violations usually occur at the beginning of the case. The timing of the violation can then set a client up behind the eight-ball for the remainder of the divorce case. And as always, complications in a case such as violating the injunctions certainly drive
attorney’s fees up. Thus our best advice: Follow the law!

At Cheatham, Palermo & Garrett, we make a point of discussing the injunctions and providing an in-house ten commandments to help you follow the law and protect your interests and build your case strategy. As your top divorce attorney Nashville, we are also prepared to tackle that spouse who never follows the rules.

The attorneys of Cheatham, Palermo & Garrett, are experienced in the interpretation and application of Tennessee family laws and have been committed to protecting the financial and parental rights of men and women in Franklin and throughout Middle Tennessee for more than 30 years. They bring a wealth of legal knowledge and experience to each case they handle, providing their clients with skilled representation in the areas of Divorce, Child Custody, Child Support, Prenuptial Agreements, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, Music/Intellectual Property, and Juvenile Court.

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