Spousal abuse can vary in form and can range from physical violence and emotional assault to financial abuse. While finances can be a tricky situation for any couple, financial abuse is very common and can be harder to spot than other types of abuse. However, the imbalance of power it creates is no less devastating to the victim spouse.
Financial abuse can occur to men and women and is often represented by a limited knowledge of household finances. Victims of financial abuse may not be aware of any joint finances, accounts, or information beyond the basics of their spouse’s occupation or bank location. Furthermore, they may need permission to obtain money, have a limited budget, or be forced to rely on the other to make purchases or pay bills.
Victims of financial abuse often agree to have their spouse handle the finances. When this happens, the person in question becomes dependent upon their partner. More often than not, the financial controller does not provide any knowledge on purchases, spending, or payments made with joint funds.
How Does Financial Abuse Happen?
As one study pointed out, financial abuse is often linked to other forms of domestic abuse; and occurs more often in women, who report being victims 60 percent of the time. The process occurs gradually. Victims start out independent, but over time, controlling partners use emotional manipulation to force them into accepting financial dependence.
Victims often report being reprimanded or put down for their appearance or abilities. They are told that they do not make enough money, or that their job is not necessary. Often times, victims are lulled into a false sense of financial security in which their partner or spouse will ensure them that they will be taken care of, pampered, and treated right if they quit their jobs.
Forms of Financial Abuse
Financial abuse occurs in many forms and may not always be noticeable. While some victims may be forced or manipulated into leaving their jobs and moving in with their partners, other forms of financial abuse include:
Limited access to funds: Even if both members of the relationship work, the victim may be forced into handing over wages from their job. They may be given a specific spending budget and are not allowed to have access to bank account information.
Lack of knowledge: Victims of financial abuse may be forced or manipulated into signing documents, including tax returns and credit card requests without knowledge of the document or its contractual agreements.
Missing funds: In some situations, a spouse may be spending all of the joint assets. The other may not be able to pay bills or purchase necessities due to a lack of funds.
Complete financial control: Victims who are subject to complete financial control are dependent on their spouse or partner in all financial matters. Usually, they are forced into providing receipts for purchases and must account for everything they spend money on.
South Jersey Divorce Lawyers at the Law Offices of Kearney, Burns & Martone Assist Victims of All Types of Domestic AbuseIf you or someone you know has experienced financial abuse and is considering divorce, contact an experienced South Jersey divorce lawyer at the law offices of Kearney, Burns & Martone. Our office is located in Haddon Heights, New Jersey, and we represent clients throughout South Jersey, including those in Haddonfield, Collingswood, and Washington Township. Contact us online or call 856-547-7733 today to schedule a consultation.