Threats and manipulation are both common during a divorce or legal separation. A person who is influenced by emotions may say or do anything to lash out at a former partner. Unfortunately, some people make their threats a reality, causing lasting harm to their former spouse and the children of that relationship. While most people are familiar with the types of physical assaults that occur during a domestic dispute, few are aware of the types of psychological and emotional harm that can occur. One non-physical way a former partner may seek to hurt you is through financial retaliation. Being aware of some of the most common forms of financial retaliation can help you prepare for the worst even as you continue hoping for the best possible outcome.

Restricting Access to Funds

A spouse who makes the majority of the income or who is the sole financial provider for the household often has a disproportionate amount of power in a relationship. When that relationship ends, a person may use that power to his or her advantage by immediately restricting the partner’s access to marital accounts  This can include changing online banking user information, canceling bank cards, or transferring the money in joint accounts to a separate account. These methods could lead to an accusation of hiding assets, but in the time between the court becoming involved and the money being taken, the spouse is left to find for him or herself.

Taking Property or Disrupting Your Use of Property

Even if both adults keep their bank accounts separate, that does not mean one partner cannot still wreak financial havoc on the former spouse. It is not uncommon for one spouse to take property or do something to interrupt the other spouse’s ability to use that property. A vindictive spouse may have a vehicle that is jointly owned, towed, or even repossessed. If utilities in a home are in your spouse’s name, he or she can have the utilities disconnected, leaving you to pay for reconnections that you might not be able to afford.

Ruining Your Credit

After a divorce, it can take a person months or years to recover. Divorce is one of the most expensive legal processes a person goes through in his or her life and once it is over, income is usually significantly decreased. Relying on credit is common during this time frame, and an angry spouse could quickly destroy that safety net. Refusing to pay his or her half of joint debts (credit cards, mortgage, car payment etc.) can negatively impact your credit as can multiple credit report inquiries caused by your spouse attempting to open or use new lines of credit during your divorce.

Protecting Yourself

A skilled divorce attorney can help you take steps to protect your credit and secure marital assets. Even if you feel that you have a good idea regarding how to handle the situation, your closeness to the situation increases your chances of overlooking something crucial. The aggressive attorneys at Vayman & Teitelbaum are here to provide you with the zealous representation you deserve. Our team will help you secure your marital assets while protecting you from any attempts your spouse may make to cause you financial harm. Contact us today and schedule an initial consultation at one of our four conveniently located Atlanta, Georgia offices.