Guide on Financial Abuse in Divorce

Abuse can come in many forms, emotional, physical, psychological and financial.

Financial abuse tends to build up over time, and it may isolate those who experience it from family and friends if they do not have money to socialise. Financial abuse is a form of controlling or coercive behaviour which may also indicate that other forms of domestic abuse are present. 

What is Economic Abuse?

Economic Abuse, also known as financial abuse, is a form of domestic abuse.

Financial abuse can take different forms; examples can include:

  • Preventing a partner from working.
  • Controlling a partner’s money and/or finances.
  • Ensuring a partner’s salary is paid into a joint bank account, to which they do not have access.
  • Building up debts in a partner’s name, sometimes without their knowledge.
  • Denying a partner information about their financial situation.

This type of behaviour can happen to anyone, man or women, wealthy people, professional people, and people living in poverty. It is not necessarily about the money; it is about the controlling nature of the relationship.

People who have been subjected to this form of abuse may not realise what they have experienced is domestic abuse. A victim may only begin to realise they are a victim when they open up about their financial circumstances.

Organisations Who Can Provide Practical Advice and Support


How Does Economic Abuse Impact a Divorce Case?

Once the victim is at the point of filing for divorce, it might be the first or the tenth time they have tried to leave the relationship. It is not uncommon, for fear of the financial ramifications of a divorce to cause a victim back into the arms of the abuser prior to the divorce being finalised.

It is important to obtain relief, and temporary orders whilst the divorce is going through to provide the victim with support. For example, it may be appropriate to seek an occupation order requiring the partner to vacate the family home or a non-molestation order to limit the contact they have with the victim and to prevent them from receiving any abusive messages.

A party who has carried out financial abuse during the marriage may well continue this abuse throughout the financial remedy proceedings by failing to make full disclosure or refusing to negotiate. The courts are willing to penalise such behaviour with costs orders. 

Need Support?  We’re Here to Help.

Our experienced team of Family Law Solicitors at Myerson can provide a wealth of knowledge and expertise in this area. We will work closely with you and be with you every step of the way.

All of our solicitors in the family team are full members of Resolution, a body of family members committed to adhering to the Resolution Code of Practice which promotes working constructively to avoid unnecessary conflict. We will tailor our approach to meet your bespoke needs and provide you with legal advice throughout.

If you would like to talk to us, in confidence, about how we can help in relation to divorce or financial remedy proceedings, please call one of the family team on 0161 941 4000 or email lawyers@myerson.co.uk.