When one spouse controls the purse strings

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2021 | Divorce, Domestic Violence

Couples divorce for various reasons. Sometimes a marriage crumbles because one or both spouses have given up. Far too often, abuse is a significant factor, with a husband or wife simply wanting to escape and start over.

Abuse can take many forms. However, one of the more common types involves money and the power one spouse has over it.

Financial abuse

Financial abusers use their power over the marital finances, manipulating, intimidating, and threatening their spouses to keep them from leaving. Many forbid their spouse from pursuing or having a job. If the victim is employed, the abuser often demands that they quit their place of employment, even going so far as to harass them at work to make that happen.

The seeds that are planted almost always lead to physical violence or emotional trauma inflicted by the abuser, according to the Centers for Financial Security, serving as a sinister gateway.

Sadly, most spouses are not even aware of what is going on and ignore the gradual and unhealthy signs that include:

  • Lacking knowledge of spouse’s income
  • Lacking awareness of the couples’ financial picture
  • Excessive spending by the abusive spouse
  • Access to one credit card used to track spending and whereabouts
  • A continuing decline in finances for weekly grocery shopping

When financially abusive spouses feel “generous,” they provide an allowance that is rarely an adequate amount of money. Victims are left begging for more, relinquishing even more power. Many strike a “devil’s bargain” where they control when and how their victims can use cash, checking accounts, or credit cards.

Dysfunction in marriage, particularly when abuse is involved, creates a toxic environment where divorce is likely inevitable. Having a skilled and experienced family law attorney at your side can help you escape from a failed marriage and move on to the next chapter of your life.

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