Connecticut’s Automatic Orders go into effect when a divorce is first filed. In a nutshell, the orders create a ‘standstill’ by prohibiting divorcing parties from doing anything out of the ordinary course during the divorce process. In my experience, they accomplish this well most of the time.
One area of focus for the orders is family finances. They attempt to create a financial status quo during the divorce — meaning that neither party can make major financial transactions which could disadvantage their spouse. Most people would agree that this makes logical sense.
Over time, a nagging question has arisen — to what extent do the orders forbid ordinary trading in investment accounts during divorce? In my experience, this becomes especially important when markets are dropping, and one spouse wishes to make changes to a portfolio to avoid losses.
A fix is on the way. Effective January 1, 2020, the Automatic Orders will be amended by adding a paragraph allowing either party to make investment decisions during the divorce without the consent of the other, so long is they are consistent with past practice.