There are many factors that keep people in marriages much longer than they would like to be. One big factor is money, and this becomes an even bigger factor when you are a victim of financial abuse. The abusive spouse often controls the victims access to finances, preventing them from hiring an attorney. If you are a victim of financial abuse, read below to find out how you can prepare yourself for a divorce and how the legal system can help free you from the constraints of financial abuse.
What is Financial Abuse?
Financial abuse involves controlling a victim’s ability to acquire, use, and maintain financial recourses. Financial abuse can be a gateway to physical abuse, domestic abuse, and emotional abuse. In financially abusive relationships, the breadwinner spouse uses their financial position to keep their spouse from leaving the relationship.
Signs you are in a Financially Abusive Relationship:
You may be in a financially abusive relationship if your partner…
- Gives you “allowances” or “budgets” without your input.
- Pressures you to quit your job or sabotages your work responsibility.
- Feels entitled to your money or assets.
- Controls how all the household finances are spent.
- Limits your access to your own bank account or mutual bank account.
- Engages in other forms of abuse like belittling or physical abuse when they get angry over finances.
- Limits your ability to attend job training, pursue higher education, or otherwise advance your career.
Preparing for Divorce
Preparing for a divorce can be difficult under normal circumstances. Preparing for a divorce when you are victim of financial abuse can have its own unique set of challenges. As a victim of financial abuse, you can prepare yourself for divorce in the following ways:
- Keep a detailed record of all financial abuse.
- Gather information on all accounts in your name, your spouse’s name, or your name jointly.
- Meet with a therapist or a trusted friend or family member and create a safety plan.
- Keep duplicate credit cards in a place that your spouse cannot find.
- Gather as much information as you can on your spouse’s income.
How Can the Legal System Help You?
As a victim of financial abuse, you may be entitled to a larger share of the community estate, spousal maintenance, child support, and attorney’s fees. You may also find additional relief in getting temporary orders in place that order your spouse to start contributing to you financially from the beginning of the divorce process through the finalization of the divorce. The Court can order your spouse to provide you with funds necessary to live, and can even order your spouse to pay for your interim attorney’s fees.
Financial abuse is a type of abuse that leaves the victim at the financial mercy of their abuser. If your spouse controls your access to your household finances without any input from you, you may be a victim of financial abuse. If you are a victim of financial abuse, you can prepare for your divorce by keeping detailed records and gathering important information. Contact our office today for more information on leaving a financially abusive marriage and finding freedom through Court system.