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Financial abuse in California domestic violence cases

On Behalf of | May 22, 2024 | Domestic Violence |

Financial abuse is a lesser-known but equally damaging form of domestic violence. In California, financial abuse involves controlling a person’s access to financial resources, making them financially dependent, and limiting their ability to leave the abusive situation.

Recognizing signs of financial abuse

Financial abuse signs can be hard to recognize. They include one person controlling all the money and making decisions without the other’s input. It can also involve preventing the other person from working and having access to money. Additionally, it may include running up debts in the other person’s name or ruining their credit.

Legal protections against financial abuse

California law recognizes financial abuse as a form of domestic violence and provides several legal protections. Here’s how to seek help:

  • Restraining orders: Individuals can request a domestic violence restraining order (DVRO). This can include orders for the abuser to pay bills, provide spousal or child support, or return stolen money.
  • Support orders: During divorce or separation proceedings, you can also seek orders for the equitable division of property.
  • Employment protection: California law prohibits employers from firing or discriminating against employees who take time off work to address domestic violence issues, including attending court hearings and seeking medical or psychological help.

Understanding the broader impact

California has strong laws to protect people who are being financially abused. It’s important for those who are being hurt to know about these laws and get help. By knowing their rights and getting help, people who are hurt can take big steps to get back their money and stay safe.


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