Financial Abuse From Your Partner? 6 Ways To Avoid Financial Abuse(2023)

 

Ways To Avoid Financial Abuse From Your Partner In 2023

Get access to financial and personal records.

Try to get a better picture of your financial situation and prepare yourself for the possibility of the relationship ending by making copies of your financial and personal records. Put these copies in a safe place where your abuser can’t access them, like a safety deposit box in your name.

Include as many of these records as possible:

    • Birth certificates and Social Security cards for your whole family
    • Insurance cards for your whole family
    • Copies of checking account, savings account, and credit card numbers
    • Copies of any stock or mutual fund records
  • Loan or mortgage information
  • Your most recent credit report
  • Tax returns for the past two years;
  • Car title
  • Deed to your house or your rental lease
  • Retirement plan statements
  • Photos of valuable assets like cars, jewelry, furnishings, etc.

Build a secret financial stash.

A financial abuser will try to keep you completely dependent on him or her for money. Without money, your options and resources for help are limited.

Open a checking account in your name only, and make sure that statements are not mailed to your home. Set up a security PIN number that your partner can’t figure out.

If you can’t open an account, keep any money you can save up with someone you trust.

Earn extra money however you can — even a little income here and there can build up over time to help you seek assistance when you might need it.

Be creative and use all of your resources to figure out ways to earn and save money — whether it’s selling crafts on eBay, babysitting, or doing some freelance writing online.

Ask to borrow money from trusted friends and relatives as a safety net.

Educate yourself financially.

If you aren’t savvy with saving and investing, educate yourself. Not knowing how to access your money or manage it can keep you tethered to your financial abuser.

Don’t allow a lack of knowledge to keep you in a position that sabotages your financial security, safety, and self-esteem. There is so much free information available online to help you.

Protect your existing accounts.

If your abuser is accessing your accounts and spending your money without your knowledge or agreement, take action to prevent him or her from doing this.

Contact your bank and credit card companies, and ask to have your account numbers changed, as well as your PIN numbers, passwords, and other access codes.

Create passwords that are hard for your partner to guess, and put them in a place he or she can’t access. Be sure you use a safe computer that your partner can’t access.

If you are afraid your partner is opening accounts in your name or using your personal information without your knowledge, you can place a fraud alert with one of the three credits bureaus (who will inform the other two once it is placed).

Meet with an attorney to discuss your rights.

Use some of the money you’ve been saving or borrowing to meet with an attorney for a consult. A reputable divorce attorney can give you a better picture of your financial rights in your state (even if you decide not to end the relationship right away).

Explain how your partner or spouse is financially abusing you and what steps you can take to extricate yourself from this situation.

Inform others about your situation.

You may be covering up for your abuser because you are embarrassed or feel shame about the predicament you are in. But hiding the problem won’t serve you well should the relationship end.

If you are considering ending the relationship, let police officials know about your situation with financial abuse (and any other type of abuse) so that a file and response will be ready when you need it.

Make notes about the financial abuse and document what you can. Talk to a few trusted friends or family and show them what is going on so that you have witnesses who can vouch for you if necessary.

The longer a financially abusive situation goes on, the harder it will be to reclaim your rights and salvage your financial security. Take action now to protect yourself and your money so you aren’t left completely dependent on your abuser.

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