Repeatedly being harmed physically or emotionally is deplorable and is often the grounds for divorce. What many don't realize is that financial abuse also exists and can be just as debilitating in a marriage.
As reported by the National Network to End Domestic Violence, financial abuse typically grows subtly over time and occurs in a staggering 99% of domestic violence cases. Financial abuse takes many forms, but broadly speaking it is when one partner controls the other by way of finances.
Financial abuse happens across all walks of life but can be especially frightening for higher income people. Individuals often want to end their marriage but are left with the anxiety that they will have to give up the lifestyle they have become accustomed to.
Know that the law is on your side in cases of financial abuse, and that the best way you can look out for yourself is to speak to an experienced attorney. They will consider the facts of your situation and advise how best to proceed.
Am I being financially abused?
It is a good idea to gather as much information as possible before moving forward with a divorce. If you relate to any of the following, be sure to inform your attorney. You may be a victim of financial abuse if your spouse:
- Forbids you to have a job or career.
- Forbids or sabotages career advancement.
- Controls how all household money is spent, possibly giving you an allowance.
- Does not include you on major financial decisions.
- Hides assets.
- Uses your information to make purchases or investments.
- Forces you to work in a family business without pay.
- Recklessly spends from shared accounts.
Nobody should have to stand for being controlled by way of finances. Financial abuse is still abuse and it is valid grounds for divorce.
Do not be afraid to act if you feel you are a victim of financial abuse. It may be the first step toward a better, more independent life.