When the complaint for divorce is filed the automatic restraining order on assets immediately applies to the filing party and as soon as the other side is served with the complaint the restraining order likewise then applies to him or her.
The purpose behind this is to maintain the status quo so people won’t hide or spend beyond what is normally reasonable. It is not intended to prevent someone who has been managing the couple’s finances from continuing to trade in the ordinary way and thus hopefully to protect assets. AND…because most legislators are lawyers and lawyers can be counted on to take care of themselves, it allows both parties to spend marital assets (and at this point and throughout the divorce ALL assets are considered marital assets) on divorce attorneys.
It also keeps the family’s insurance provisions in place.
In my experience Judges take violations of this very seriously, so be very mindful of the restraining order throughout the divorce process.