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Financial manipulation may be a form of domestic violence

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2020 | domestic violence

Hiding assets or withholding money from a spouse may indicate a troubled relationship or one in which finances serve as a means of control. Most individuals think of domestic violence as an action that occurs through physical harm, harassment or stalking. A couple’s economic circumstances, however, may reflect one spouse’s form of abuse or manipulation, even when both spouses earn a paycheck. 

An increasing number of families today have two working adults contributing their incomes to a household budget. When financial stress begins to interfere with relationship dynamics, some individuals may begin to consider their options for a divorce. 

As reported by CNBC, many couples remain together in an unhealthy or unhappy marriage because of their finances. The stress of staying with an unsuitable partner, however, could lead to compromising health issues, especially when both spouses fail to discuss finances or how to allocate earnings. 

Understanding a household’s finances  

Spouses who have become comfortable in a dysfunctional two-income household may not have the ability to sustain their lifestyle on a single income. The costs of housing, child care and medical treatment may require a larger salary to cover adequately. While it could take an individual some time to find a better-paying position, the stress of remaining in an unhealthy marriage may take its toll. 

During a divorce, an individual may request financial support in an amount necessary to cover child care needs, housing costs and other expenses. The court generally divides property and assets fairly between the two spouses. The process of discovery may reveal hidden assets obtained or secured by one spouse, which a family court judge then has the right to divide. 

Gaining financial independence through a divorce  

A spouse may have placed a career or business on hold to marry and care for the couple’s children. At some point, he or she may wish to seek employment to gain financial independence. Under certain circumstances, returning to a full-time career or starting a new business may bring up considerations of divorce as a way to meet an individual’s personal or financial goals.