* I generally write using the pronouns he/him when referring to narcissists, but females are just as likely to be narcissists or exhibit narcissistic traits. So please don't think just because article uses the word him or he that it could not be a woman in that same role.
Domestic abuse is multi-faceted and comes in many different forms. It can be verbal, sexual, emotional, physical, or a combination of these acts that are used by an abuser to assert coercive control.
How to Prove Finacial Abuse In Divorce
One way an abuser can maintain power and control in a relationship is through financial abuse. Like other forms of abuse, it can be a vicious cycle that can only be broken by cutting ties.
If you want to find out more about financial abuse and how it affects divorce, this article will tell you everything you need to know.
What Is Financial Abuse?
Financial abuse is behavior that threatens a person’s self-sufficiency and financial independence and aims to exert control over their ability to obtain, use, or preserve economic resources.
The abuser frequently hides financial information and restricts access to money so that, even if the victim wanted to leave the abusive relationship, they would be unable to do so due to their inability to make ends meet elsewhere.
According to some research, almost 75% of victims of abuse continue to live with their abusers for financial reasons.
Signs Of Financial Abuse
Abuse of finances can take many different forms. Some forms of financial abuse are fairly subtle, and in less abusive circumstances, they can even seem to be a standard aspect of how couples manage their finances.
Financial abuse might also take more overt forms. Similar to other types of abuse, the abuser’s actions frequently get worse over time and become more manipulative in intimate relationships. Financial abuse techniques include the following:
Controlling Shared Assets
Controlling the family resources occurs when a partner or spouse has total control over the finances of the marriage while you have little to no access to what you need. This can happen in the following ways:
- Limiting money access – not allowing you to have credit cards or bank accounts, and limiting your access to joint assets.
- Criticizing financial decisions – having you account for everything you spend money on and criticizing decisions made on purchases.
- Double standard – spending money on purchases that they would criticize you for.
- Taking or hiding money – putting funds in a private account, refusing to share their own income but forcing you to share yours.
- Making significant purchases without your knowledge or consent – refusing to discuss these purchases and limiting your access to the “financial picture”
A partner or spouse is abusing your resources when they use or have control over the money you have made or saved. Here are a few instances of this abuse:
- Ruining credit history – running up limits, not paying bills, doing it all in your name.
- Controlling your money – controlling your use of or access to your earned money and using your assets for themselves, forcing you to ask for permission to spend.
- Feeling entitled to your assets – demanding that you give them your paycheck, credit cards, and personal passwords, expecting you to pay for their bills and needs.
Interfering With Career
Your earning potential is interfered with when a partner or spouse tries to limit your capacity to acquire wealth or acquire assets. Here are a few examples of work interference:
- Sabotaging your responsibilities to your career.
- Harassing you while you’re working.
- Criticizing your career choice.
- Pressuring you to quit your job.
Impact Of Financial Abuse
Financial abuse frequently has terrible consequences. Due to the emotional abuse that goes hand in hand with financial abuse, victims feel weak and uncertain of themselves.
Financial abuse exposes victims to physical abuse and violence in the near term. It’s quite challenging to plan for any kind of safety net if you don’t have access to cash, credit cards, and other financial resources.
Without money or a credit card, it can be challenging to leave a particularly aggressive abuser in order to stay safe. Additionally, it can be difficult to find safe and reasonably priced housing if they had to end their partnership permanently.
Additionally, they struggle to meet their needs for things like food, clothing, and transportation.
Because of years of financial abuse, victims may have erratic employment histories, damaged credit histories, and growing legal problems. As a result, they have a very difficult time being independent and secure in the long run.
In actuality, worries about their financial security lead many victims to remain with or go back to their abusers.
Proving Financial Abuse In Divorce Court
Financial abuse might be difficult to prove. In the early stages of divorce, both parties are obligated to make a complete disclosure of their assets and debts.
An expert witness, such as a forensic accountant, may be required to find inconsistencies in documents, inaccurate assessments, and hidden assets.
The victim’s abusive spouse can assert that they are poor money managers. Citing an instance from the distant past as evidence of poor money management.
The victim is afraid to talk to the abusive spouse about anything financial because of the abuse. Therefore, getting victim testimony outlining the abuse and how it made the victim feel inadequate, bad, or weak is crucial.
It’s crucial to present proof of the mistreatment. Through lifestyle analysis, asset valuation, and other methods, a forensic accountant may be able to find assets that the dominating spouse has hidden.
Along with it, the case has a private investigator involved. Documents, letters, emails, and texts may reveal the abusive strategies the controlling spouse uses.
When those accounts are marital in nature, this can demonstrate that the victim was denied access to credit card accounts, bank accounts, investment accounts, and so forth.
Witnesses may also provide testimony based on firsthand knowledge. For instance, a relative who witnessed the victim’s abusive spouse chastise them for spending a tiny amount of money on something inconsequential.
What To Do As A Victim
Given how commonplace it is, financial abuse could arise in any relationship. You must take action to protect your marital rights if you think you are the victim of financial abuse.
Visit a counselor and seek financial guidance to safeguard yourself. The first step in achieving an equitable and fair divorce outcome is realizing the extent of the financial abuse.
You must regain control of your finances if you want to leave a marriage that is financially abusive. This entails financial preparation and self-education.
By speaking with an experienced divorce lawyer, you can determine your legal rights. This can entail labeling particular abuse episodes and gathering important documents to present the legal case for recovery.
Financial abuse can be devastating for the victim, but with the right financial guidance and legal counsel, you’ll be able to fight back and regain control of your life once you’re divorced and safe from your abuser.
With this guide, you can take the first step in leaving a financially abusive situation.
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