Financial Abuse & Divorce: The Hidden Impact

Imagine being trapped in a relationship that seems happy on the surface, but behind closed doors, a form of abuse is silently taking place: financial abuse. This kind of abuse goes beyond just money—it leaves lasting scars that run deep. When it comes to divorce, financial abuse can act as a catalyst, driving individuals to break free from the control and manipulation of their partner. It has a profound impact on the divorce process, but with the right information and support, victims can regain control of their lives and come out of the situation stronger than ever before.

Understanding Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is a type of domestic abuse where one person uses money to control and manipulate their partner. It happens when the abuser limits the victim’s access to money, like by controlling all the household finances or not allowing them to use their own bank accounts. The abuser may also sabotage the victim’s job opportunities or create debts in their name. By doing these things, the abuser wants to keep power over the victim, make them feel isolated, and undermine their confidence and ability to be independent.

The Role of Financial Abuse in Divorce

Going through a divorce when there has been financial abuse can be really tough. Here’s how it can affect the process:

  1. Unequal Distribution of Assets: Sometimes, one partner controls all the money and tries to cheat the other out of a fair share. They might hide money, undervalue things, or move funds around so the victim gets less.

  2. Alimony and Child Support: Financial abuse can also impact how much financial support the victim gets after the divorce. If they depended on the abuser for money and don’t have much of their own, they might need more support. It’s important to show how the abuse affected their ability to earn money.

  3. Tricky Financial Paperwork: Financial abuse often involves complicated money matters, like secret accounts or debts the victim didn’t know about. It can be hard to gather evidence and prove what happened. Sometimes, experts like forensic accountants or financial advisors can help uncover everything and present it to the court.

  4. Emotional Stress: Divorce is already hard, but when there has been financial abuse, it can be even more stressful. The victim may feel overwhelmed by the trauma and manipulation they experienced. This can make it difficult for them to make good financial choices and stand up for themselves.

  5. Legal Help and Support: If you’re divorcing someone who financially abused you, it’s important to have a good plan. Talk to a divorce lawyer or mediator who knows about this kind of abuse. They can help protect your rights, gather evidence, and fight for a fair settlement. It’s also helpful to have supportive people around you, like friends, family, a therapist, or a support group, who can help you through this tough time.

  6. Long-Term Financial Effects: Financial abuse can have lasting effects on your finances. You might have a lot of debt, bad credit, or limited job opportunities because of what the abuser did. Working with financial professionals can help you make a plan for the future and rebuild your financial stability after the divorce.

Tips to Heal from Financial Abuse

If you have experienced financial abuse, it’s important to prioritize your healing journey. Here are five tips to help you regain control and move forward: 

Financial Abuse Blog chart

Financial abuse can be a deeply traumatic experience that significantly impacts divorce. Each divorce case is unique, and the impact of this type of abuse can vary depending on the specific circumstances. Seeking professional guidance and support is crucial in navigating the complexities of the divorce process and ensuring a fair outcome for the victim of financial abuse.

If you’re looking for more support in healing from an abusive marriage, we encourage you to check out these blogs:

More Resources:

Are you are ready to join our online Communitywe would love to have you! We have several experts in there waiting to help. Plus other divorcees you can connect and share stories with. Remember that you are not alone, even though it might feel like it at times. There are always people ready to support you- simply reach out your hand (or finger if you’re scrolling online!)

We get your struggles… We welcome you to visit our Support hub where we have created an informative and nurturing space using various modalities for you to get educated, emotionally supported and find your way. Our complimentary support groups like Coffee Talk and SOS: Support on Saturdays can be found here, along with many other helpful tools and resources.

Get more of! Straight to your inbox weekly. You’ll be the first to know the best divorce resources, professional advice, upcoming digital and live events, supportive insights, and current divorce pitfalls to avoid. Better ways to live apart are right here. Sign up for the Newsletter.

Essential Resources

If you’re facing legal/custody battles, a mental health crisis, an urgent medical issue, serious emotional problems, including suicidal thoughts, please seek help from the appropriate professionals near you.

Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255
Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Crisis line: 1-800-356-5395
Crisis text line: Text “help” to 741741
The National Domestic Violence Hotline
The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) Resources Marital Life Inventory
Divorce Lifecycle Document
Divorce Process Overview


323 San Vicente Blvd., Unit 1
Santa Monica, 90402

Have a question for us?
Please visit our contact form

Coffee talk:
join our weekly divorce support group hosted every Friday morning at 9 am PST.


Follow Us

Splitfyi, Inc. DOES NOT PROVIDE LEGAL OR TAX ADVICE. All information provided should not be construed or relied upon as legal or tax advice. Individuals seeking legal or tax advice should solicit the counsel of competent legal or tax professionals knowledgeable about the divorce laws in their own geographical areas.

Copyright © 2022 | All rights reserved


Install our App!

Click the share icon in your browser toolbar, then click “add to home screen” to install our app.