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Understanding financial abuse in California

| Sep 8, 2015 | Domestic Violence |

Like physical or emotional abuse, financial abuse may provide an abuser with a way to retain control over his or her victim. Examples of financial abuse include not allowing a spouse or partner to go to work or controlling how money is spent. If an abuser’s spouse or partner is employed, the abuser may create issues that result in the victim being let go from one or more jobs.

In some cases, the abuser may be the one who doesn’t go to work while the partner is forced to provide for the couple financially. The abuse victim may be forced to write bad checks or file a false tax return on behalf of the abuser, which are both crimes. Access to bank or investment accounts may be limited, and the abuser may give his or her victim an allowance or a limited amount of money to spend.

If a victim does decide to get a divorce, an abuser may decide not to make child support payments or take steps that will deliberately draw out the divorce process. This may include hiding assets or taking longer than normal to disclose some or all assets. If an abuse victim receives public assistance, an abuser may take the money and threaten to report the victim for misusing those benefits.

Controlling how a spouse or partner spends money is typically considered domestic abuse. Those who are living with or otherwise in a relationship with someone using such tactics may wish to speak to an attorney. It may be possible to get a restraining order against the abuser, which would require him or her to stay away from an abuse victim. It may also be possible to get a child support order as part of the restraining order.

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