Recent media reports have highlighted the impact financial control in marriage can have. This can manifest itself in a number of ways, either with or without verbal or physical violence.
Economic abuse can be just has harmful to a spouse and children, hence the campaigning to include this under the definition of domestic abuse in current legislation. Extending this definition will enable partners and spouses to seek assistance with occupation orders which remove the perpetrator from the home and non-molestation orders which prevent the abuse from continuing. It is also possible, in most divorce cases, to apply for interim financial support and orders preventing the disposal of assets by a spouse.
Even without the changes to the definition of domestic abuse it is vitally important to get legal advice early about the rights and options someone may have. If you or anyone you know is affected by this issue please do not hesitate to contact me.
Her story is typical of a pattern of controlling behaviour known as economic abuse, say campaigners. Nicola Sharp-Jeffs, director of UK charity Surviving Economic Abuse, describes it as "an almost invisible form of domestic abuse". Dr Sharp-Jeffs says it can mean victims feel unable to leave abusive partners, even in the face of physical violence, and wants the government to press ahead with plans to include it in a new statutory definition of domestic abuse.