Separating Your Finances After You Leave An Abusive Relationship

Welcome to Right-On with HFG Happy Families Support Network Inc. (HFG)

HFG is a not-for-profit support group that provides ongoing support to women and children who have experienced abuse

HFG is a free support group for women and children who have experienced abuse, run by women who have experienced abuse

The topic for today is – Separating Your Finances After You Leave An Abusive Relationship

Separating your finances when your marriage breaks down is a very difficult process

Separating your finances when there was domestic abuse adds another degree of difficulty to the process

Abusers will not want to disclose their financial information & will often give only partial information

The abuser will do everything in their power to make separating your finances a very difficult process

Do not expect the abuser to cooperate when it’s time to separate your finances. The opposite should be expected

Abusers have a tendency to refuse to provide financial information and documents

Abusers tend to refuse to negotiate or to listen to their own lawyer’s advice

Abusers defy court orders and use children as pawns

Since the abuser won’t cooperate, you need to have copies of essential financial paperwork ahead of time

Read for a list of documents to copy

Give yourself time to gather and copy as many documents as you can. Keep copies in a safe place outside of the home

Here are some things you’ll need to close, suspend or transfer accounts to your name without forgetting anything:

  1. Copies of all bank account statements joint or not, visa statements, information on lines of credit
  2. As much information as you can gather if your abusive spouse have their own business
  3. The SIN and date of birth, copy of driver’s licence and insurance for any vehicles of your abusive spouse
  4. Income tax returns for your abusive spouse, personal as well as business
  5. Copy of financial statements, list of assets, cash flow income and expenses
  6. Copy of pay stub and all other income related documents, rental lease, mortgage documents
  7. Copies of statements related to stock, bonds, mutual funds, stock options held in any corporation or other entity
  8. Copy of wills and trust agreements, include powers of Attorney
  9. Complete list of personal property owned before and during the marriage
  10. Anything else you may consider an asset

People to inform of your separation/divorce so accounts can be closed, suspended or changed to your name:

  1. Your landlord or mortgage lender, your bank, if you have any joint accounts
  2. Utility providers (gas, electricity, water, phone, Internet) to get accounts put in your name
  3. Your credit card provider, if you have joint accounts or your ex is a secondary card holder for your account
  4. Insurance companies, you need to inform them of changes even if policies aren’t joint
  5. Your employer if you are working
  6. Revenue Canada after 90 days

Remember that if your don’t close or suspend joint accounts you can be held liable for moneys spent after separation

Check your credit

Youneed to make sure there are no accounts on your credit that were opened by your ex without your knowledge

Change the beneficiaries for insurance policies, pensions and savings and investments

Review & update your will or write a will. Divorce may change parts of a will, but doesn’t automatically cancel it

Revoke powers of attorney with your ex’s name on it

Separating your finances from an abuser is a very painful experience. But take it one step at a time. YOU CAN DO IT!

Thanks for joining Right-On with HFG. We look forward to seeing you next Wednesday July 23 for our weekly Right-On conversation

The topic for next week is – Starting from Zero – Rebuilding Your Credit After Divorce

Please email your questions and comments to

If you would like more information on the HFG support group please email

Have a great day! HFG Hugs!!

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