Domestic abuse, a very serious issue, can take on many different forms. It doesn’t just include physical violence or mental abuse. An often overlooked form of abuse during a marriage is financial abuse.
What, exactly, is financial abuse, and what can you do if you’ve fallen victim to this kind of behavior? Read on to find out how financial abuse will impact your New York City divorce.
What is Financial Abuse?
Financial abuse is a form of domestic abuse. It occurs when one spouse steals or withholds money from their partner. Sometimes, it happens when a spouse uses money as a bargaining chip in their relationship. In extreme circumstances, financial abuse occurs when a person refuses to let their spouse get a job.
Audrey Cade, contributor on divorcedmoms.com, penned an article detailing her experience with financial abuse. In her case, Cade trusted her husband to manage their finances, but he caused them to live far beyond their means. She wrote:
“Because I excused myself from the arena of our joint finances, I made myself ignorant to the fact that we were up to our eyeballs in debt, that bills were not being paid, and we were in big trouble!”
Are You a Victim?
Because financial abuse can manifest in many different ways, it can be hard to tell if you’re a victim. Common signs of this kind of domestic violence include:
- You are forced to give your spouse your paycheck
- You are not allowed to have access to financial accounts
- Your spouse forced you to sign over your premarital assets to them
- You are not allowed to make any purchases without permission
- You are unaware of any marital debt
- Being told that you cannot support yourself without your spouse
- You are required to work at a family business for little or no pay
Keep in mind that these are some warning signs of financial abuse, and they might not be relevant to your marriage. It can occur in all kinds of relationships, regardless of economic class, educational background, etc.
Financial Abuse & Divorce
Financial abuse, along with any form of domestic abuse, is dangerous. This behavior is unhealthy, and will have long term financial and emotion effects (especially on your kids). You need to take immediate action if you believe that you are a victim of this form of domestic abuse.
Leaving an abusive marriage is hard, and it takes a lot of planning. Follow these tips when preparing for divorce:
- Obtain copies of all important documents (financial statements, bills, birth certificates, Social Security cards, etc.)
- Run your credit report
- Set up your own bank account, and apply for a credit card
- Start to save money so you have funds after you file
- Secure a safe place to live (family members or close friends can help)
- Consult with, and hire, an experienced divorce attorney
A Trusted Source
The family law firm of Brian D. Perskin & Associates P.C. is one of the most trusted sources for New York residents who are looking to file for a divorce. We’ve helped thousands of people just like you through difficult divorce actions.
For more information on financial abuse in NYC divorce, contact us at 718-875-7584 to schedule a free and confidential consultation today.