If you get married to someone who doesn’t treat you right, the abuse you suffer can influence many different aspects of your life. Most people acknowledge the dangers of physical abuse, and awareness of emotional abuse has spread in recent years.
Sadly, financial abuse remains a form of spousal abuse that all too often goes unacknowledged. Financial abuse can go hand-in-hand with domestic violence, or it can be a warning sign of controlling behavior that may later lead to abuse. How do you move on from marriage if your spouse has controlled or manipulated your finances?
Take careful stock of your circumstances
The first step to regaining control over your finances, other than getting away from your abuser, involves acknowledging your current circumstances. Going over financial records and income statements with an advisor or even with your divorce attorney can give you an idea of what options you have now, where you could be with careful planning in six months and what future objectives are possible for you.
Start getting accounts and credit in your name
One of the more devastating aspects of financial abuse can be the total loss of credit history and banking background that comes from managing your own finances. Once you file for divorce or are officially separated from your spouse, you can start depositing your income into your own bank account.
You can also potentially get a credit card in your own name. In some circumstances, if your credit is bad or nonexistent, you may need to put a deposit down to get your first credit card.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
You have community resources, ranging from family members and friends to domestic violence support programs. Plugging into the right resources and having the courage to ask for help right now when you need it can get you assistance that can set you up for better stability and more independence in the future.