Financial Abuse

Are you in a relationship where your partner is controlling your financial independence? This could be to the point that you feel isolated, coerced, degraded and powerless.

If so you can seek confidential support and advice from Harrogate Family Law and we can help you escape this damaging and belittling situation today.

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What is financial abuse?

Abuse comes in many different forms; sexual, physical, emotional and financial are all very common examples, and they can all co-exist in the same relationship. In fact, it is very rare for financial abuse to happen in isolation, and sadly it usually stems from or leads to other forms of abuse.

Financial abuse can happen to anyone, whether you are wealthy or not, and it can happen during a marriage or during the breakdown of a marriage. Financial abuse comes where one partner starts to control the other in terms of access to money, how they spend their money and how savings and investments are managed. Ultimately, this could lead to the victim of financial abuse being left in debt, or with no access to their money, with no savings and perhaps even with no job or income.

How to identify the signs of financial abuse

It is therefore very important to identify the early signs of financial abuse. Often it is possible to discuss this with a partner and agree that certain actions or arrangements are not reasonable, you could even make a pre-nuptial agreement to cover this and formalise financial arrangements. If behaviours are identified early then sometimes people can accept these and change, but often the perpetrator will not do this, or the victim is too scared or too entrenched in the relationship to address the signs.

The signs of financial abuse include:

  • You are given only a small portion of money to spend from the family income, almost like pocket money, and this can only be spent on certain things
  • There is an obvious imbalance in spending between the perpetrator and you
  • You have to regularly prove and show evidence of what you are spending money on
  • Access to your accounts or savings is changed, either knowingly or in secret
  • Pensions or investments are cashed in, either knowingly or in secret

How to address financial abuse

Financial abuse is a way in which a person seeks to control or manipulate you and money is a powerful weapon. It can be very difficult to address the situation, particularly if you fear it could lead to another form of abuse. People often put up with this form of abuse until they feel independent or empowered, such as when children leave home or the victim gets a new job. However, you should always try to seek advice at an early stage and Harrogate Family Law can provide this support.

We can help you prepare for reporting financial abuse to the authorities, to gather evidence to support this and to prepare vital documentation you will need if you plan for you and your children to leave safely and escape the domestic situation. We can offer you a consultation in which our dedicated and experienced staff can use their specialist personal skills to understand your situation, and advise on how you should address it safely and successfully, and so that you retain or regain authority and security over your finances, so contact Harrogate Family Law today and we can help you get your life and your financial independence back together.

Andrew Meehan

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Top Ranked Chamber UK 2022, Andrew Meehan
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