Arguments about finances are common among married couples. However, there are some situations in which money becomes a tool that an abusive spouse uses to control and manipulate the other spouse. Financial abuse is not discussed as frequently as physical abuse, but the consequences of financial abuse can be just severe as physical violence. If you have been a victim of financial abuse and are planning to end your marriage, you should know about the ways that financial abuse can impact your divorce.
When Control Over Money Crosses the Line
Many people like to keep track of their income and expenses, stick to a budget, and have tight control over their finances. However, there are times when control over finances becomes abusive. Financial abuse is typically defined as controlling a person’s ability to obtain, use, or save money or property. It may also involve stealing or withholding funds or property from the rightful owner. Some signs that you may be a victim of financial abuse at the hand of your spouse include:
- Your spouse spends money you have earned without your consent
- Your spouse insists on having your bank passwords and other financial data
- Your spouse demands that you turn over your paychecks to him or her
- Your spouse requires you to ask permission to spend even a small amount of money or gives you an “allowance”
- Your spouse does not allow you to work or make your own money
- Your spouse makes all of the financial decisions without your input
- Your spouse uses threats, intimidation, or violence in order to access or control your money
- Your spouse sabotages your efforts to become more financially independent
Divorce Involving a History of Financial Exploitation or Manipulation
If you are planning to divorce and you have been a victim of financial abuse, you need to take steps to protect your rights during divorce. If it is safe to do so, gather copies of important financial documents like tax returns and credit card statements. Consult with a divorce lawyer experienced in handling cases involving financial intimidation or domestic abuse. Your lawyer can provide legal support throughout your divorce. He or she will protect your rights and make sure that you are not tricked into a divorce settlement that is lower than what you deserve.
Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer
If you are planning to divorce and you have been a victim of financial abuse, you need a strong advocate on your side. Contact a St. Charles divorce attorney from Shaw Family Law, P.C. for dependable legal guidance at every step in the divorce process. Our team can help with property and debt division, child custody, child support, and much more. Call our office at 630-584-5550 and schedule a free consultation.