Money is one of the leading causes of stress to a marriage. Almost every couple will have disagreements at some point about how the household income is being spent.
In some cases, however, the problems go beyond arguments. Far too many individuals - often women - live with financial abuse. In cases of financial abuse, the controlling spouse finds a way to cut the other spouse off from income or access to the household money. The other spouse becomes entirely dependent on the controlling individual, who in turn can use money as a threat or a tool for abuse.
Here are some ways to identify financial abuse:
- The controlling spouse has complete control over all bank accounts, assets and money in the marriage, to the extent that the other spouse can only have money when the controlling individual allows it.
- The controlling spouse cuts the other spouse off from a job or makes demands regarding the other spouse's career choices that prevent him or her from being financially secure.
- The controlling spouse knows that the other spouse is financially dependent and uses the threat of leaving as a tool to intimidate or coerce.
- The controlling spouse refuses to allow the other spouse any visibility into the family's finances.
- The controlling spouse charges up excessive debt or credit, taking out lines of credit or credit cards, without the other spouse's knowledge (be aware that all debt taken out during a marriage is the obligation of both individuals).
If you or a loved one is under the control of financial abuse, there is hope.
A skilled family law attorney can walk you through some practical steps to separate yourself financially and work toward becoming financially secure. You may not be ready to leave the marriage, but there are still steps you can take to take control your financial situation and escape financial abuse.
M. J. Hill & Associates provides compassionate legal guidance, advising victims of financial abuse of all available options - both legal and practical. We are committed to discretion and providing a way out of these toxic situations, helping individuals get back on solid financial ground. Call us for a no risk consultation to learn your options.