Your legal rights during divorce will differ from state to state so I suggest you research you state divorce laws. We all have rights that are protected by the Bill of Rights and those rights are in place during divorce proceedings. Just as they are at all times. We all have the right to not be harassed, physically abused or intimidated. And we have a right to use the court system in cases where we are. Laws are set in place to keep either spouse from such behavior.
Protecting your legal rights means following state divorce laws that are in place. When going through a divorce, protecting your legal rights is more about what you shouldn't do, than what you can do. Your legal divorce rights will take a major hit if you don't follow the laws of your state. If you allow your anger and need for revenge to get the better of you and, basically, if you behave like a jerk.
And behaving like a jerk is common during divorce. Don't be that person!
No party to a divorce action should ever do the following 6 things.
1. Damage Property
No one should conceal, destroy, damage, transfer, or otherwise dispose of property owned by either or both of the spouses, without the other spouse's consent or a prior or family court. Concealing money, destroying property might seem like a reasonable thing at the time, but a good divorce attorney will discover hidden money and the courts will deeply frown upon the destruction of property.
2. Move WIth Children
Under no circumstances should either party move minor children outside the jurisdiction of the court. In some states, they can be moved up to 150 miles away but have to stay within the state. Once a divorce has been filed, the state the divorce was filed in becomes your children's "home state" and has jurisdiction over where the children live. Moving with your children without the court's permission is a great way to lose custody of your children.
3. Hide Children
Never hide the minor children from each other. If your children reside with you, you must make them available for your spouse to visit. You will have either temporary or permanent divorce court order pertaining to custody and visitation of the children.
Don't even think about denying the other parent's rights to parent their children. The courts frown mightily on parental alienation and, this is another way of possibly losing custody of your children.
4. Spend Their Money
Avoid using credit accounts that are in your spouse's name alone. Issues such as finances and who pays for what can be protected by petitioning the court for temporary orders. If you have joint credit accounts and are concerned about your spouse running up debt, you will have to get special protection from the courts.
Dividing debt is a major part of the divorce process. You don't want to take an action that is going to make this process more complicated. And you certainly don't want to take an action that will mean you having more debt to pay once the divorce is final. Just because you use a credit card that is in your spouse's name alone doesn't mean the courts won't hold you responsible for the debt.
5. Harass Them
If your spouse has become violent, you may seek a restraining order. Law Enforcement officials are more willing to respond to domestic violence calls if there is a restraining order in place. If you are in a violent situation it is best to put yourself in a position of getting the help you need quickly. Don’t fail to protect yourself.
On the other hand, if you are angry and your emotions are out of control, you can set yourself up for trouble if court if you threaten harm to your spouse or, anyone else. Sending harassing emails and texts won't make you look reasonable in court.
6. Disobey Court Orders
Having temporary court orders can help alleviate any anxiety you feel as far as your legal rights being protected during a divorce. We all have legal rights in place but if you have a temporary court order you have added protection from a spouse who might try and cross the boundaries where your legal rights are concerned.
And if you have temporary court orders pertaining to child custody, visitation, the division of debt and so on, follow those orders. You aren't above the law and digging your heels and thinking a court order doesn't pertain to or have authority over you is a great way to make yourself look foolish and generate more conflict.