What Is Financial Abuse?

IL divorce lawyerWhen people think of domestic violence, they often imagine a person living with a spouse or partner that is physically abusive. Unfortunately, that is only one form of domestic violence. While many people also recognize emotional abuse as another form of domestic violence, individuals often are often not aware of financial abuse, even when they are victims of it. For this reason, it is important that everyone understands what financial abuse is, how to recognize the signs and to have hope that even when it is occurring, there is a way to put an end to it.

Understanding Financial Abuse

Financial abuse occurs when one person limits their spouse’s or partner’s access to money and other financial resources. They do this because it places them in a position of power over the other person. Without access to their own finances, a person becomes much more dependent on their spouse or partner, which provides the abuser with the security of knowing that the other person will not leave them. Many studies have shown that it is usually women that are the victims of financial abuse, although of course it can happen to anyone.

Recognizing the Signs of Financial Abuse

Sometimes, people do not realize that they are a victim of financial abuse. This is often because financial abuse is typically accompanied by physical and emotional abuse, which is much more obvious than financial abuse. Some of the most common warning signs of financial abuse include:

  • Learning that your spouse has hidden property or money from you
  • Your spouse forces you to quit your work or does not allow you to work
  • Without your permission, your spouse sells your property
  • Your spouse provides and closely monitors, a weekly or monthly allowance
  • Your spouse keeps banking passwords and other information secret
  • Your spouse fraudulently files tax returns or insurance claims in your name
  • Your spouse forces you to apply for loans or credit cards
  • You avoid talking about finances because your spouse becomes angry or violent about the subject

Like any other type of abuse, it is extremely difficult to be the victim of financial abuse. It is for this reason that everyone should understand that when they suspect they are the victim of this type of abuse, there are steps they can take to stop it.

Financial Abuse and Divorce

As with any type of abuse, victims often think there is nothing they can do about it. However, that is not true. By filing for divorce, a person can remove themselves from the situation and regain financial independence. Although this is a frightening prospect for victims of abuse, an attorney can help them obtain an order of protection, also known as a restraining order, that can prevent your spouse or partner from contacting you, your children, and more. When orders of protection are violated, the offender can be arrested and will face serious consequences.

An Illinois Family Lawyer Can Help Victims of Abuse

No one should have to live with financial abuse or any other form of domestic violence. If you are a victim, it is important to call our skilled Hinsdale family lawyers at the Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio. We can help you obtain the order you need, and guide you through the divorce process so you can start your new life as quickly as possible. When you need help, call us at 630-920-8855 to arrange a free consultation with one of our attorneys.





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