Protecting the Rights of Financial Abuse Victims in New York

Financial abuse – despite lacking the awareness people have about physical and emotional abuse – is one of the most despicable things that take place in troubled relationships. When an insatiable need for control results in abusive financial behavior, it is crucial to make sure you have an attorney with the resources and gravitas to fight back and protect your financial interests and legal rights. 

In New York City, White Plains and surrounding communities, men and women can turn to Lisa Zeiderman for the counsel and representation they need. She is not only an attorney but additionally, she is both a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and a Certified Financial Litigator. She has the skills you need when your financial wellbeing is at stake.  

What is Financial Abuse? 

Financial abuse, also known as economic abuse, can take many forms before, during and after a divorce. It is a controlling behavior that forces victims to depend on their spouse for financial stability, limiting their options to make decisions for themselves. Examples of financial abuse include: 

  • Concealing assets to prevent equitable division in divorce
  • Forcing a spouse to live on an allowance regardless of their income
  • Stealing money from a spouse
  • Requiring a detailed account of all spending
  • Withholding access to or knowledge of assets such as savings accounts and tax returns
  • Making accusations of waste, such as spending on an affair or gambling when it isn’t true

Remember: if it feels like abuse, it probably is. Make sure you discuss what is going on with your attorney.  

Get the Help You Need

Victims of financial abuse have a strong advocate in Lisa Zeiderman. You can rely on her to untangle the web of financial abuse and ensure you have the resources you need to build a better future. Call 914-488-2402 to schedule a consultation. 

My spouse will not share our household financial information with me. What should I do?

If you aren’t being permitted to see account and credit card statements, banking information or joint tax returns, or are living on an allowance that is doled out by your spouse as they see fit, you may be a victim of financial abuse.

What is Financial Abuse?

Financial abuse, as defined by the Office on Women’s Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is when “an abuser takes control of finances to prevent the other person from leaving and to maintain power in a relationship.” The abuser may take control of all the money, withhold it, and conceal financial information from the victim. The victim in some cases may even be the breadwinner. Financial abuse often occurs in physically and emotionally abusive relationships.

According to Stacy Francis, CEO and founder of Francis Financial, as well as the non-profit Savvy Ladies, the goal of the abuser is to manipulate, intimidate, and threaten the victim through finances in order to entrap the other person in the relationship. Getting one’s finances in order and becoming financially literate can help the victim understand the severity of the situation, how to get help, and ways in which they can achieve financial independence.

What does financial abuse look like?

Financial abuse can take many forms, but some examples that indicate your spouse or partner might be abusing you financially include:

IMPORTANT: If you believe that you are being financially abused, take stock of your situation. Are you a victim of domestic violence? Are you also being verbally and physically abused? If so, take steps to get out of the situation as soon as possible. Most of all, it is critical to do everything you can to keep yourself and your children safe, and to protect your emotional well-being during this stressful time.

Please read my recent article in Psychology Today for more information and for resources that can help.