Last Updated on September 12, 2023 by Lori Pace
Financial abuse in marriage refers to the actions and behaviors of one spouse in an attempt to control the other spouse and gain power and control over them. This could include controlling a spouse’s paycheck, using threats to spend money, using credit cards, and limiting a spouse’s ability to work outside the home.
To make the other partner more dependent, one partner might take over all credit cards and bank accounts. Financial abuse is a common part of intimate relationships and marriages that involve domestic violence or physical abuse.
What is Financial Abuse in Marriage?
Some spouses may be physically abusive while others can manipulate and control their partner in unhealthy ways. To maintain control over a relationship, or to prevent a spouse leaving the marriage, it may be necessary to limit a spouse’s bank accounts or money access.
Married couples manage their household finances in many different ways. It is difficult to say categorically whether certain behaviors are financial abuse. There are many types of financial abuse. Financial abuse can take many forms.
Over time, financial abuse can become more controllable. Fear and financial insecurity are the main reasons women remain in abusive relationships or return to them.
Warning Signs of Financial Abuse
Financial abuse can occur in many ways, including:
- Money Allotment
- Asking your spouse for money
- A spouse can be granted a set amount without their consent
- Inscribing a spouse’s name in financial documents
- You can sell property that you own without your permission
- To punish the spouse, withhold money
- Inquiring about a spouse’s purchase habits
- Harassment or harassment at work
- Interdiction of a spouse from working
- It is not fair to deny your spouse money access for essential necessities like food and medicine.
- False credit applications filed in your name
- To force a victim to submit false tax returns
Even if there is abusive behavior like financial abuse, demeaning behavior, or violence, some partners might be reluctant to end a marriage. Remember that loving marriages do not include being physically, emotional or financially abused.
How Do North Carolina Laws Protect Me from Financial Abuse?
North Carolina civil law defines domestic violence as any situation in which an individual with you has taken any of these actions against you, or a minor child.
- Intentionally causing bodily injury
- Harmful attempts
- You are at risk of injury
- Harassment and stalking that cause significant emotional distress
- Sexual violence
Domestic violence often includes financial abuse. Domestic violence victims have the right to pursue legal action to end their abuse.
How Can a Financial Abuse Lawyer Help Me?
Domestic abuse can often become more severe over time. It is important to know the legal steps that you can take to protect yourself against financial abuse and other forms of domestic abuse.
What Victims Can Do
Domestic violence victims may apply for a court order to protect them from any further abuse. You may be able to request post-separation assistance from your spouse if you are financially dependent and cannot pay your monthly obligations. Post-separation assistance is temporary support that can be used to help you between the separation and the determination for alimony.
What Attorneys Will Do
Attorneys can file a civil suit on your behalf, seeking financial support and a domestic violence protective order if necessary. A domestic violence protective order can also be known as an order to restrain or 50B order.
A complaint will be filed on your behalf. It will detail the acts of violence, harassment, threatened violence or domestic violence you have suffered and the dates they occurred. A family law judge or magistrate will hear your account. The initial hearing is not made public to your abuser. An attorney can accompany you to the hearing and file a lawsuit asking for a protective order.