Most Missouri residents have a basic understanding of the different forms of abuse that can occur within a marriage including physical, sexual and psychological abuse. However, some people may not realize that other forms of abuse exist, one of which is termed “financial abuse.”
How financial abuse occurs
Significant financial inequality sometimes exists between partners, with one almost totally relying on the other for support. However, after a divorce, the financial relationship between former partners must change, with the reliant partner making strides to becoming financially independent. Financial dealings between former partners should take on a business-like relationship to ensure that they are fair.
Nevertheless, financial abuse of one person over the other can still occur after the divorce is final. This abuse encompasses controlling actions that can take many different forms, including:
- Denying the other parent access to funds like child support
- Making the other parent solely responsible for all finances
- Preventing the partner from getting or keeping a job
- Denying access to financial information or resources
- Demanding the other partner turn over their paycheck or other income
- Failing to disclose all financial assets
These actions are particularly damaging in attempting to reach a fair and equitable divorce agreement. Financial abuse is not as obvious as other kinds of abuse, so it is easier for abusers to hide their actions.
Understand your rights in divorce
Frequently, many spouses are unaware that they have endured financial abuse during their marriage. Understanding the divorce process and your rights under family law, can help you work toward a fair divorce settlement. The process is often long and drawn out, especially if a couple has accumulated considerable assets during their marriage. Abusive spouses frequently draw out the process as long as possible to benefit themselves.
Anyone going through a divorce should be aware that all statements provided to the courts should be truthful, especially concerning financial matters like statements of property and debts, income and expenses, and more. If you find afterward that your ex-spouse wasn’t truthful in the original negotiations, you can petition the courts for a modification of your divorce agreement.