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August 6, 2021

Injunctive Relief for Financial Abuse During Divorce

Injunctive Relief for Financial Abuse During Divorce

With or without physical violence, many marriages fall apart because the wealthier spouse uses money and intimidation to control the other spouse.  If, when you voice your concerns to your partner about a problem, it is a red flag if they respond by talking about how much they paid for this or that, implying that you do not have the right to ask for anything else, financial or otherwise.

It is an even bigger red flag if your spouse threatens to take your children out of private school, stop paying for your car, or withhold some other kind of financial support when they are angry with you.  

The biggest red flag of all is if they try to control your spending or does not allow you to get a job.  If financial abuse started early in your marriage, it probably will not magically disappear once you file for divorce, but the law requires the court to award you your fair share of marital assets in a divorce, even if you earned little or no income during the marriage.  Meanwhile, even if financial abuse was never a problem during your marriage, your spouse might suddenly show their ugly side once you file for divorce. In either case, a Red Bank divorce mediator can help you exercise legal protections against financial abuse during your divorce case.

Financial Abuse During Divorce

When you file for divorce, your spouse might engage in financial siege warfare, cutting you off from all marital finances until you forfeit the things you requested in your divorce petition.  

Your spouse might close your joint bank accounts, stop paying household bills, and even stop paying for necessities for your children. None of this reflects well on your spouse in the eyes of the court; judges can see financial abuse for what it is, and several legal remedies available to you.

The Law Is on Your Side

According to New Jersey law, spouses have a fiduciary duty not to harm each other financially until the divorce becomes final.  While your divorce case is pending, the court might order your spouse to pay pendente lite alimony to cover mortgage payments and household expenses; pendentelite automatically terminates when your divorce becomes final.  You can also request an injunction, in which the court orders your spouse to do something or not to do something, for example, to continue making payments on your mortgage or not to close your joint bank account or deplete its funds.  If your spouse does not comply with these orders, the court can hold them in civil or criminal contempt.

Reach Out to Us Today for Assistance

Filing for divorce from a controlling spouse can be the first step to becoming free from financial abuse.  A divorce lawyer can help you exercise your legal rights so that your spouse can no longer sabotage your finances.  Contact the Law Office of Judie Saunders in Red Bank, New Jersey to set up a free consultation.

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