After you divorce an ex-spouse due to domestic abuse, you pray that divorce will be the end. However, if your lawyer and you do not plan how to stop potential post-divorce abuse, you may find that, while you are not physically harmed anymore, your ex can still wreak havoc on your post-divorce life.
The primary way abusers keep abusing after splitting up is through economic abuse. For instance, an abuser might have take their spouse’s name off of credit, bank and brokerage accounts. The attempt here is to take away the other person’s ability to access funds to pay for anything, which they hope will keep them dependent.
Some abusers may go even further and actually take out additional credit and loans in an attempt to destroy their ex’s credit. This credit abuse can have far reaching affects because it can dramatically drop one’s credit score. This could affect the ability to get a new place to live, start utilities or even get a job.
Bringing in the child
Particularly vindictive abusers bring the children into the economic abuse. These abusers promise the child extravagant items, and may even sign them up for expensive activities at school and with their friends. Of course, they have no intention of paying, and they may even say that you promised to pay. This forces you to either stretch yourself beyond your means or risk hurting your children.
Another way they can use the kids to continue the abuse is by losing their items. This is, usually, not losing the PS5. Instead, this means losing winter clothes, shoes, backpacks and other items they need for their day-to-day lives. This, in turn, forces you to continually pay for these items, causing further financial strain.
Some abusers even go so far as to purposely lose their jobs or become under-employed so that they do not have to pay child or spousal support. They could even ask the judge for modifications or the elimination of their support obligations due to their new destitution. All the while, they did it on purpose, or may have just opted for working off the books or under the table.
What do I do?
Indiana residents who have been victims of domestic abuse can speak to a lawyer about planning for these contingencies. You may want to ask the judge to put protections into court orders to ensure that you are not at your former spouse’s financial mercy. Then, if they do any of this economic abuse, alerting the court immediately can help you find solutions.