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Are you a victim of financial abuse in your marriage?

You may be among many for whom it is difficult admitting that you are a victim of domestic abuse. With physical abuse often comes emotional manipulation that can make the victim believe the abuser has a good reason for causing injury or that things will get better if you can only make your abuser happy. Holding on to these or other untruths can place you in a dangerous, even life-threatening position.

However, even if you want to leave, you may be unable to because your abuser has made you a victim in another way. It is not uncommon for those who physically abuse their spouses to also commit financial abuse, which can make it very difficult for the victim to escape the abuser's control.

What does financial abuse look like?

You may believe it is natural for spouses to share their earnings and that there is nothing wrong with allowing one spouse to manage the finances. Unfortunately, financial abuse can take many forms, and you may not realize that the control your spouse has over your money is not normal in a healthy marriage. Your spouse may use subtle methods of controlling your ability to earn or your access to the marital accounts, but it is abusive if your spouse has all the financial power and you have none.

Some examples of financial abuse in a marriage include the following and many others:

  • Criticizing you for spending any money
  • Preventing you from having access to joint accounts and investments
  • Refusing to discuss family finances or keep you in the loop
  • Making large purchases in the abuser's name only, such as cars, houses and cell phones
  • Putting your pay into an account you cannot access
  • Demanding receipts for every purchase
  • Forcing you to pay the bills with your paycheck while the abuser uses his or her money for frivolous purchases
  • Sabotaging your job or making you quit
  • Maxing out your credit cards or taking loans in your name to damage your credit score

After suffering financial abuse in your marriage, you may feel your confidence has eroded and your options dwindled. After all, how can you make plans for a safe escape if you have no access to money or credit? However, you can be assured that your situation will not improve until you are in a safer place. There are resources available for Illinois spouses in your circumstances, and the assistance of a compassionate attorney can guide you through the process of breaking free to make a fresh start.

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  3. The Essig staff are courteous and helpful, and the attorneys are professional and knowledgeable. They are very efficient, with prompt turn-around times on title orders and real estate closings. I would highly recommend this office to others!

    -Donna Jones Craig Jim Maloof Realtor

  4. The Essig staff are courteous and helpful, and the attorneys are professional and knowledgeable. They are very efficient, with prompt turn-around times on title orders and real estate closings. I would highly recommend this office to others!

    -Donna Jones Craig Jim Maloof Realtor

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