6th March 2024|In Latest News

Domestic abuse: Your finances and your future

When you’re leaving an abusive relationship, working out financial matters can be very difficult. 

Separation and divorce is always difficult financially, but if you have been banned from accessing your accounts and have had no control over your finances it can be incredibly hard to navigate on your own.

Getting help and advice on your financial position from a solicitor can be invaluable, as can having someone representing you to advocate on your behalf.

Often, people who’ve experienced domestic abuse find it incredibly hard to advocate for themselves.

If that’s you, then getting someone in your corner is the best thing you can do.

Your finances and separation

If you are married, or in a civil partnership, then working out a financial agreement and applying for a divorce can be done via a solicitor. You can go directly through the court, but where domestic abuse is involved it’s important to have independent legal advice that can help prevent you from being coerced into agreeing on something without full understanding of the legal or future implications.

Sometimes, couples can opt to go to mediation to settle financial matters or do it directly with each other but, again, where domestic abuse is involved it can leave you vulnerable to manipulation.

Having the assistance of solicitors is essential for anyone experiencing domestic abuse. Where possible, they will look to seek a clean financial break which cuts ties with your partner so that you are protected against any future financial claims they may seek to make. 

If you aren’t married, then financial settlements are much harder to negotiate. In these cases, consulting a solicitor is even more important because the legal paths are harder to navigate.

Children and future living arrangements

You can discuss with your solicitor getting orders in place to allow you to continue to live in your family home until certain life events trigger the sale of your family home. There may be financial stipulations alongside this, such as who pays or contributes towards bills and mortgage payments, and what portion of equity is to be given to each party upon the sale. This is only applicable if you are married, so seek legal advice to ensure you have a complete picture of your rights.

Your solicitor will also be able to help you begin legal pathways to arrange any visitation rights for your children, where they will live, and specific protections for your children about where and when they can be visited by your ex-partner. You don’t need to be married to pursue these options for your children. 

Looking after your children’s safety for the long term is incredibly important because any orders you may have in place, non-molestation or occupation orders, are normally time-limited. Finding an experienced family solicitor is vital to help you ensure the future safety of yourself and your children.

Getting support for the future

A good solicitor will also help you set yourself up for the future. This might include signposting you to local charities or organisations for ongoing support, or helping you to write a will that ensures your wishes are legally upheld should you die and that your children are protected.

They will also give you information on how to make sure any pensions you have are amended to remove your former partner as your nominated beneficiary. It’s important to think about where you now want this money to go in the event of your death.

If communication with your ex-partner is an ongoing concern, then they can also advise you of any relevant Apps or secure portals you can use for communication with your ex-partner. There are several secure platforms where messages can’t be deleted, and you can set visitation schedules and events without needing to directly communicate with your ex-partner. For people who’ve experienced domestic abuse, these can be essential for moving forward without fear.

If you haven’t been working, or have been denied this during your relationship, then it can also be daunting to re-enter the workplace after such a traumatic time in your life. Your solicitor will be able to help you find local support to get you back on your feet.

Life after an abusive relationship can be hard to navigate alone, but with support and a clear picture of your financial future, you can live a fulfilled life.

If you need help establishing your financial future after an abusive relationship, then you ask our family law experts for help on 0333 344 6302 or email info@blanchardslaw.co.uk.

Can we help you? Please call us on 0333 344 6302 or contact us through our enquiry form. All initial enquiries are free and without obligation.

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