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What is Relationship Financial Abuse?

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As specialist Family Law Solicitors, we come across examples of financial abuse in family relationships. Whilst our solicitors recognise it for what it is not everyone does, including a partner on the receiving end of financial abuse or the perpetrator of the financial abuse.

In this blog, our Family Law Solicitors examine what financial abuse is and why it is important to understand how it can affect you and your family.

Online and London Family Law Solicitors

For family law legal advice call the expert London family lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form.

Our lawyers speak Arabic, Armenian, Farsi, French/Mauritian Creole, Spanish, Tamil Tagalog/Ilonggo, Urdu/Punjabi

What is relationship financial abuse?

Financial abuse is a form of domestic abuse. Some people still think domestic abuse and domestic violence are different but they are the same concept. Domestic violence does not have to be a slap, kick or punch. It can be far more subtle than that – but just as damaging.

Like a punch, financial abuse is a form of control within a family relationship. It is a way of exerting and keeping control by restricting access to money and assets.

Financial abuse often goes in tandem with other types of domestic abuse. For example, a partner may have been told that they are too stupid to be a joint bank account holder or too thick to be trusted with a bank card or access to cash.

Financial abuse is also often dressed up as the actions of a caring partner. For example, being told that your salary is being transferred into your partner’s bank account as your partner is the one who is good with money.

Examples of relationship financial abuse

When you are in a relationship it can be hard to stand back and look at what is going on in your relationship or to be honest with yourself about what you are experiencing.

Often people who are subject to financial abuse come to talk to a Family Law Solicitor about starting divorce proceedings or ending an unmarried relationship for unrelated reasons. For example, they are unhappy with how their partner is talking to or treating their child or their partner has had another affair. A discussion with their Family Law Solicitor will later reveal the financial abuse and how it is affecting the whole family.

Examples of financial abuse include:

  • Not being allowed to access a joint bank account or your bank account. This can include a partner changing online login details or keeping hold of your bank card or chequebook
  • Your partner taking out loans in your name. You may be told that this is necessary because they are self-employed or for other reasons that are not true
  • Not allowing you to have a say in how any joint income or your income is spent, such as buying expensive items for themselves but not allowing you the same freedom to choose how to spend family money
  • Remortgaging the family home without discussing this with you
  • Giving you a weekly or monthly spending allowance
  • Requiring you to account for your expenditure by justifying what you have spent or your needing to produce receipts as evidence that money has only been spent in approved shops or on approved items
  • Transferring money into accounts that you know nothing about
  • Lending money to friends or family without consulting with you
  • Deciding to sell the family home or investments without first speaking to you

Sometimes you don’t spot what is going on but a parent, sibling or friend may do so. Often these warnings from friends and family are ignored as you are so caught up in the family relationship and the dynamic your partner has created. Sometimes children are taught to think of you in the same way as your partner does, thus reinforcing the idea that you are financially inept and need protecting from yourself.

Family Law Solicitors and relationship financial abuse

Not all lawyers recognise relationship financial abuse for what it is; a type of domestic abuse. At OTS Solicitors, our family law specialists understand what it is and how damaging it can be.

We can help you with:

  • Divorce proceedings
  • Separating from your unmarried partner
  • Applying for a non-molestation order injunction
  • Applying for an ouster or occupation order so you can stay in the family home
  • Securing a child arrangement order to protect your children
  • Negotiating a financial settlement or representing you in court proceedings

If you are in the UK on a Family Visa (such as a Spouse Visa, Unmarried Partner Visa or Civil Partner Visa) we can talk to our team of expert Immigration Solicitors about your visa options if you separate from your partner. There is a route you can use to apply for indefinite leave to remain even if you have not been living in the UK for the required 5 years. It is called the domestic violence concession. Not all Immigration Solicitors understand that the Home Office views all forms of domestic abuse (including relationship financial abuse) as relevant when you apply to settle early in the UK because your relationship ended due to domestic violence.

Whether you need family law or immigration help the team of specialist lawyers at OTS Solicitors can answer your questions about relationship financial abuse and provide the legal assistance you need.

Online and London Family Law Solicitors

For family law legal advice call the expert London family lawyers at OTS Solicitors on 0203 959 9123 or complete our online enquiry form.

Our lawyers speak Arabic, Armenian, Farsi, French/Mauritian Creole, Spanish, Tamil Tagalog/Ilonggo, Urdu/Punjabi

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