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Have You Been the Victim of Financial Abuse?

financial abuse

Empowered Divorce Thought Leader: Beverly Price

Financial Infidelity, also known as Financial Abuse, occurs when one partner conceals financial information or makes financial decisions without the knowledge or consent of the other partner.

This can range from opening secret bank accounts to taking out loans or even spending money on extramarital affairs.

Discover Financial Infidelity:

Many women are shocked to discover this financial infidelity in the midst of their divorce. For women who discover that their husbands have committed financial infidelity, the situation can be overwhelming and debilitating. Here are some steps to consider when navigating this difficult situation:

1. Recognize your feelings – It’s normal to feel a range of emotions, such as anger, betrayal, hurt, or shame when discovering that your spouse has taken advantage of you financially. Acknowledge these feelings, do not blame yourself.

2. Seek support – You don’t have to face this alone. Reach out to trusted friends or family members for emotional support. Consider seeking help from a therapist or coach who can provide coping strategies and guidance.

3. Assess the damage:  Evaluate the financial situation by reviewing bank statements, credit reports, and other financial records. It may be helpful to enlist the assistance of a financial advisor or accountant to assess the damage and develop a plan for moving forward.

“It’s essential to start a relationship or marriage with clear financial communication.”

4. Set boundaries: With the help of your attorney and a financial expert, find out how you can protect yourself from that point forward in the divorce process. Listen to the experts, they know better than well-meaning family and friends.

Long-Term Financial Plan:

5. Focus on financial independence – It’s crucial to focus on your own financial independence, which may involve acquiring new skills or pursuing a new career path. Work with a financial advisor to develop a long-term financial plan that can help you achieve your goals.

6. Protect yourself legally – It’s essential to start a relationship or marriage with clear financial communication. A pre-nuptial agreement is a great way to do that. With 50% of first marriages, 67% of second and 72% of third marriages ending in divorce it’s critical. A post nuptial agreement can also help if you are currently married.

7. Protect your estate – When a relationship moves toward marriage, it’s important to have all your estate planning documents ready – wills, power of attorneys, trusts etc. This way you and any children prior to divorce are protected. With financial abuse it is strongly advised to have someone else be your financial power of attorney.

Rebuild Your Credit:

Since the financial infidelity was revealed in the divorce, it’s essential to take steps to protect yourself and your finances from that point forward. This may involve working with a divorce lawyer to ensure a fair settlement, closing joint accounts, and opening new ones in your name only. It’s also important to rebuild your credit and adjust to a new financial reality. Get expert advice before taking action.

Working with a financial professional and a divorce and empowerment coach is vital in navigating the complex financial and emotional issues that arise during and after divorce. These professionals can provide guidance and support to help women regain their financial independence and rebuild their lives after financial abuse.

For women who have moved past their divorce and are dating, it’s important to be aware of warning signs of financial infidelity in a potential partner. Here are some red flags to look out for:

  1. Refusing to discuss finances or avoiding financial conversations.
  2. Showing a lack of concern or interest in your financial well-being.
  3. Spending extravagantly or beyond their means.
  4. Exhibiting controlling behavior over financial decisions.
  5. Being secretive about financial matters or refusing to share financial information.
  6. Being dishonest about financial matters or having a history of financial problems or debt.

“Consider seeking advice from a financial professional or counselor before making any decisions.”

Be Aware Of Warning Signs Of Financial Abuse:

If you notice any of these warning signs, it’s important to have an open and honest conversation with your partner about your concerns. Consider seeking advice from a financial professional or counselor before making any decisions.

If you are currently in a relationship, it’s crucial to be aware of warning signs of financial abuse, such as controlling or limiting access to financial resources or forcing you to sign financial documents against your will. Seeking help and support from a professional is important if you notice any of these warning signs.

Discovering financial infidelity can be a challenging and emotional experience. However, seeking support, evaluating the damage, and legal action can help women protect themselves and their finances. With the right resources and support, women can overcome financial infidelity and move forward towards financial independence and security

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About the Author:

Beverly Price, MBA, Certified Divorce Coach®, podcast host, and Founder of Her Empowered Divorce, combines divorce and empowerment coaching to provide education, support, and insight to guide women from beginning to end of the divorce process, and to conquer its emotional, technical, financial and logistical challenges and fears. 

She coaches women through the ups and downs and grow from self-doubt to self-love quicker, with less pain, more knowledge and more support than she had.  She has a personal history with divorce, co-parenting, domestic violence and more. Combining her personal experience with her training, professional certifications and business knowledge, she can help women by supporting them along their journey, helping them to work through resentments, time management, communication, overwhelm, fear, sadness and shock. You can schedule a complimentary consultation with Beverly at https://www.herempowereddivorce.com  Check out this Meetup group for support on Zoom for separated, divorcing, and divorced women https://www.meetup.com/womens-divorce-and-empowerment-group/