When one thinks of abuse in a relationship, we typically focus on physical, emotional and verbal abuse. But financial abuse by a spouse or partner occurs in up to 99% of domestic violence cases.

Financial abuse is a topic which is rarely spoken about. Because financial abuse is a silent form of abuse it is not easily recognized. The abuse often starts with small abuses which become more controlling overtime. Financial abuse may involve a spouse or partner insisting they handle finances without your input or demanding you stop working altogether. 

Financial abuse can vary from relationship to relationship since there isn’t one way to handle money in a relationship. This makes identifying the abuse all the more difficult. An abusive spouse or partner may argue that the relationship has always worked that way. Unfortunately for many there are still concrete tactics a spouse or partner may use to keep their partner trapped.

The following list of abuses may indicate that you are in a financially abusive relationship namely:

Your spouse or partner – 

  • Takes total control of the budget and money without your input or say;
  • Insists that you account for everything you spend;
  • Spends your money without your knowledge;
  • Controls how all of the household finances are spent
  • Limits your ability to attend job training, pursue higher education, or otherwise advance your career
  • Limits your access to your own bank account or mutual bank accounts
  • Threatens to cut you off financially when you disagree;
  • Engages in other forms of abuse like belittling or physical abuse when they get angry over your spending habits
  • Prevents you from working or pressures you to resign from your job;
  • Uses your salary, but does not allow you to access your own funds.

The impact of financial abuse can be felt long after you’ve left an abusive relationship. 

A spouse or partner can ruin your credit rating making your ability to get credit almost impossible. When preparing to leave an abusive or toxic relationship make copies of your financial affairs for example, credit cards and financial statements if it’s unsafe to take the originals. This will be useful later in proving who owns what. Keep this documentation in a safe place where your spouse or partner can’t access it until you’re able to safely leave the relationship.

Help is at hand! If you are in an abusive relationship contact us today so we can assist you.

For direct answers to your specific personal questions, please contact us directly.

Read more about our family law services.

Author Kate Bailey – Hill

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