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Miami Bankruptcy & Criminal Attorney / Blog / Domestic Violence / Domestic Violence: Financial Suggestions

Domestic Violence: Financial Suggestions


When most people think of domestic violence, (DV) they probably zoom in on the physical and emotional abuse that goes on. While these are, indeed, very serious, another often overlooked facet of DV is that perpetrators inflict financial abuse in nearly all cases, as well. It’s a control tactic that effectively holds victims trapped in abusive situations with no way out. It may be very subtle, like keeping a partner in the dark as to finances, or overtly controlling the pocketbook and refusing to allow any financial independence. If you find yourself in a situation like this and manage a way out, you should know that there are things you can do to give yourself a bit of an edge financially when you leave a controlling partner.

  1. Remember that knowledge can be power. Figure out your financial standing by making yourself aware of bank balances, sources of income, assets, and debts. Check to see if bills have been paid on time, as that could mean trouble in the future.
  2. Secure personal records. You should really keep your passport, birth certificate, and drivers’ license somewhere safe and accessible. The same is true for financial documents like insurance policies, bank statements and the like. A safety deposit box might be a wise investment if you don’t have a relative or friend who can hold some of these things for you.
  3. Take steps to protect your credit profile. That means changing any passwords and codes related to debit cards, ATMs, phones and computers. Think about getting a P.O. Box to receive any financial mail, and be sure to remove your name from joint accounts and create individual ones that your abuser cannot access.
  4. Create a safety net before leaving so you have the cash to make a quick and smooth exit.  Sock away every penny you can get your hands on until you’re ready to make the break.
  5. Make changes to your insurance policies. You’ll want your own policies to deal with a vehicle, a rental policy for a new place you may rent, and your life insurance. For life insurance, if your abuser used to be your beneficiary, make a quick change!
  6. Prioritize your credit. Never miss payments and commit to addressing past debt. If your former partner had terrible credit, be sure to establish your own credit record.
  7. Reach out. Leaving an abusive partner is difficult, but not impossible. Don’t be too proud to ask for help, whether it’s a matter of financial assistance, safety measures, or legal advice.  There is a whole community out there ready, willing, and able to help.

Legal Guidance and Protection 

The experienced Miami domestic violence attorneys at The Law Office of Julia Kefalinos know that you are in a tough spot. But there are a number of legal steps that can increase your security and sense of empowerment. To discuss your situation, schedule a confidential consultation today.



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