What is financial abuse in a marriage?

On Behalf of | Sep 4, 2023 | Alimony / Spousal Support, DIVORCE - Domestic Violence, DIVORCE - Property Division |

Domestic abuse is when a person you share a home with uses violence, the threat of violence or different manipulation tactics to exert control over another individual. It is an act of extreme cruelty, which is one of the grounds for a divorce in New Jersey.

Financial abuse is one form of domestic abuse in a marriage, and it is more likely when only one spouse is the primary breadwinner. It happens when one spouse attempts to control the other by using their financial resources.

What are the signs that your spouse is financially abusing you?

One spouse can take on a domestic role in their marriage so the other can focus on their career, thus allowing the working spouse to generate a sizeable income and provide their family with a comfortable lifestyle. The problem arises when the working spouse uses their income to abuse their spouse. Here are signs your spouse could be financially abusing you:

·        Withholding money and other resources such as food and health care

·        Denying access to financial records, bank accounts and bank statements

·        Excessively monitoring your spending habits

·        Giving you an allowance to limit your financial resources

·        Hiding assets from you and lying about finances

By limiting your financial resources, they can isolate you from friends and family. Because you are financially dependent on them, you might feel like you have no choice but to yield to their every demand. However, you have sacrificed your career for the benefit of this marriage, and the court will consider that when they divide your marital property through a divorce settlement.

What’s theirs is yours

If you decide to pursue a divorce, you have a right to an equitable division of marital assets, including everything your spouse purchased and earned during your marriage. It does not matter whose name is on the title or bank account.

A divorce could mean financial freedom if you approach it the right way.