Domestic Financial Abuse

Domestic Financial Abuse

Domestic Financial Abuse

Domestic Financial abuse is a form of family violence in which one partner attempts to exercise power and control over their spouse by limiting their access to finances and dictating the terms on which money is to be spent. It often happens alongside other types of domestic violence, such as physical or emotional abuse.
In many relationships there may also be one party who assumes the responsibility of looking after the finances, and as such may have control or access to the bank accounts. But where is the line between merely looking after the finances and financial abuse?

What amounts to financial abuse?
There are many different actions that can amount to financial abuse of a partner. If your partner is committing financial abuse against you, they will attempt to exercise power and control over you in the following ways:

Controlling your access to money
• dictating a limit on the amount you can spend each week
• refusing to provide you with enough money for living expenses
• making you ask permission to access money or to spend your own money
• restricting your access to bank accounts, credit cards or cash
• preventing you from working or studying

Using your money without your knowledge or consent
• withdraws or transfers large amounts of money from your bank account
• forges your signature on cheques
• hides bank or credit card statements

Signing legal documents
• forces you to sign documents that you don’t understand
• pressures you to take on a loan or a debt on their behalf
• forges your signature on legal documents

Threatens or punishes you
• threatens you or makes you feel guilty if you use money
• makes you feel inadequate or that you can’t be trusted with money
• questions or punishes your spending

Preventing financial abuse
In order to protect yourself from financial abuse, the first step is to recognise it’s occurrence. Financial abuse is a form of domestic violence and can be a warning sign for other forms of domestic violence. If your partner is committing any of above acts, you should contact the NSW Domestic Violence Helpline on 1800 65 64 63 and seek independent legal advice from your Family Lawyer.

Should you have concerns about domestic financial abuse and your situation and would like to discuss it with one out our experienced Family Law Team, please contact us on 8525 2700 or contact here to request an appointment.

Article written by Adrian Stock
Photo by Joshua Rawson-Harris on Unsplash

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