Jessica Firth is an Associate Solicitor based in our Lincoln office. Jessica is able to provide advice on all aspects of separation including Divorce, Financial Matters, Children Matters and Domestic Abuse. Jessica regularly represents clients in Court and conducts advocacy in both the County Court and Magistrates Court. In this article she looks at domestic abuse and divorce. If you would like to contact Jessica, please call 01522 542211.
Years ago the topic of Domestic Abuse was considered a taboo and was very rarely spoken about openly. Recently, the topic of Domestic Abuse has been in the public eye with the government publishing its Draft Domestic Abuse Bill in January 2019 after a home office study revealed that Domestic Abuse costs the country £66 billion a year.
Despite receiving more attention from the Government and the Public many who are suffering from Domestic Abuse do not speak about it openly meaning that many of our clients may be victims of domestic abuse but not speak about it openly or seek our advice in relation to protective measures available to them.
Domestic Abuse is defined as an incident or pattern of incidents of coercive, controlling, threatening, degrading and abusive behavior. Domestic abuse can include coercive control, emotional abuse, verbal abuse, physical or sexual abuse, financial abuse, harassment and online or digital abuse.
Domestic Abuse is not discriminatory and is happening all around us. According to Refuge 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experience it in their lifetime. Domestic abuse covers a wide range of behaviours and does not always mean that there is physical abuse.
When considering Divorce, many worry about their financial position and how this will be dealt with upon separation.
Financial abuse is a form of domestic abuse and can take a lot of different forms so will look different within each relationship.
Financial abuse can look like the following:
- Someone taking out money or getting credit in your name without your knowledge or permission;
- Someone making you hand over control of your accounts;
- Someone cashing in your pension or cheques without your permission;
- Adding their name to your account;
- Asking you to change your will;
- Stopped from working or going to work;
- Stopped from going to college or university;
- Being asked to account for every penny you spend;
- Spending the household money on things without telling you;
- Putting all the bills in your name or into their name so you do not know what is being paid;
- Forcing you to pay your wages and/or benefits into their account.
It can be extremely daunting to speak to a Solicitor about Divorce and Domestic Abuse. At Sills & Betteridge we can support you from the first steps of contacting us through to applying for an Injunction if necessary and finalising your finances upon divorce.
If you have been or are in an abusive relationship your partner/ex partner may have told you that you are not entitled to anything or that if you leave you will lose your home or they will stop paying the mortgage or other debts. We can provide you with specialist advice from the outset of your matter and ensure the best possible outcome is reached for you.
Our team can provide you with advice in relation to Domestic Abuse, Injunction Orders, Children Issues, Divorce and Financial arrangements upon separation. We are proud to offer Legal Aid where clients are eligible and offer Fixed Fee Packages for those not eligible for legal aid. Contact us on 01522 541122 for further information.