Asset division can be one of the most contentious aspects of divorce. Although most Florida couples try to split assets as amicably as possible, there is always a chance that one spouse will overspend or make purchases without the other knowing.
This can impact both spouses, especially if they are still living together while going through a divorce. To protect your finances and rights during this tumultuous time, it’s essential to take specific steps to prevent any acts of financial recklessness from your estranged spouse.
What is financial abuse?
Financial abuse is a form of domestic abuse in which an abuser uses money or financial resources to control, intimidate, or otherwise take advantage of their victim. Financial abuse can include preventing a partner from working, forced indebtedness, using money as a weapon, or any other type of financial control.
If your estranged spouse has been overspending without your knowledge or permission, you may be a victim of financial abuse. Here are some signs to look for:
- Unexplained withdrawals from joint accounts
- Maxed out credit cards
- Secret bank accounts
- Large amounts of debt in your name
- A sudden change in your lifestyle
If you suspect you are a financial abuse victim, you must take action immediately. Talk to a trusted friend or family member, or seek professional help.
Discussing the issue amicably
If you are divorcing or separated, you may be worried about your estranged spouse’s spending habits. While it is essential to be aware of the potential for financial abuse, there are also ways to protect yourself from overspending in an amicable manner, as follows:
- Keep track of your finances and ensure you have access to all accounts. This includes joint accounts as well as any individual accounts in your name.
- Be aware of your spending patterns and develop a budget that works for you. This way, you can stay on track and avoid overspending.
- Communicate with your estranged spouse about money matters calmly and rationally. If there are disagreements, try to find a compromise that works for both of you.
When to seek help
Seek professional help if you feel like you are being financially abused or need assistance with creating a budget or managing your finances.