Filing a petition for divorce is the first legal step in a divorce. A spouse can file this petition through his or her local courthouse or by hiring a lawyer to create the petition and file it. Once filed, this petition creates the start of the divorce process, and it also stops spouses from doing certain things. Here are some of the things that spouses cannot do once it is filed.
Ignore the Petition
The first thing a spouse cannot do is just ignore the petition. After one of the spouses files for divorce, the other will be notified. This spouse must respond to the petition after he or she receives it. Failing to do so basically tells the court that he or she agrees to what the petition says, so the spouse that receives the notice should not simply ignore this petition. Instead, this spouse should contact a divorce lawyer if he or she has not yet done so to come up with a response and plan.
Sell Things or Buy New Things with a Loan
Next, it is important to know that once the divorce is filed, neither spouse can sell things or purchase new things with loans. In other words, you should aim to keep your financial situation the same from this point on until the divorce is through. Selling things is something that spouses may do out of spite or as a way of preventing the other spouse from benefiting from these things. Buying new things creates new debt, and this is something that you should never do after the petition is filed. When you buy new things with loans, you create more debt, and this makes settling a case even harder.
Leave the State with the Children
The other thing you should realize is that, if you have kids together, neither you nor your spouse can legally take them out of the state. If there is a good reason to want to do this, you would need court approval first. The purpose of this rule is to prevent issues with parenting trying to hide kids from the other parent, so you should make sure you follow this rule after you or your spouse files the petition for divorce.
These are three things that you cannot do after a divorce petition is filed. If you have questions about these things or about the petition itself, you should seek legal advice from a divorce lawyer.