Economic/Financial Abuse and How it Works: A Community Letter

Updated: 7 days ago



Financial

Abuse and How It Works

___

By Kelly Winsa


'A large group behaved in a truculent and brutal manner. While my children were in their presence they spoke of me in the most derogatory terms. Everyone was dipping in. My former partner removed my name from the account, stopped paying the mortgage, and removed the funds (thousands of dollars) leaving arrears. When the first property sold, I paid arrears to keep the second house from foreclosure, and tuition and child care. After eight months the court ordered alimony but my partner would not pay his own bills - they came out of the alimony. Receipts show that he took the family to 1,000. lunch in Montreal, and received 1,000. a month extra in credit card payments from someone he could not name. This is the cycle of economic abuse.'


a pointed finger


At the end of October, 2018, the divorce was at a trial on University Avenue in Toronto.


One situation that illustrates the pattern, occurred at the end.


The Hawaiian house (real property) which was jointly owned had not sold. It had been for sale for two years. We were all waiting for it to sell so that we could get on with our lives, I thought.

The house had not been rented during the two years of his management. This was a great loss of income. The house had been renovated and there was a working ohana. ( Hawaiian word which was historically a mother-in-law apartment)

The apartment and house had been renovated and was rented to visiting nurses at the hospital which was close by. I had contacts for these rentals and did the marketing, expense paying, cleaning, etc.

My former partner sued to control the estate (real property) in December 2016. In his motion he made up a story that I was mentally ill and had been in a mental institution.

fig 1



See fig. 2


He was managing from Toronto at great cost. He did not market or rent the property.

I stated that this was poor management. The judge said it was money lost.


My former partner said he could not rent the property because the roof leaked.

He also said he could not sell the property without a new roof.


There was no leak in the roof of the ohana, the property which was rented.


The judge said he could order a jointly financed new roof. My former partners' lawyer said, but Judge you do not have jurisdiction to order the new roof.


The judge said he had.


In December, shortly after the end of the trial, it came to be seen that the property did sell.


There was no roof problem on the ohana. This would not affect the apartment rental.

The judge was not happy so my former partner pointed the finger at me. It was my fault that the property was not rented because I would not cooperate with a loan.

The property was not selling because I had not cooperated with a loan.

There was an offer on the property at this time. He did not disclose to Judge Monahan or to me, that the house was in escrow. The sale would close a few days after the end of the trail.




The person using this pattern hasn’t ability to see the dignity in another person's actions.


In December after the trail, I received a message from my former partner. He said to go to the US Consulate and sign the sales papers. The house had sold.





My former partner said he thought he didn’t need my signature under the terms of his eviction motion so he had not informed me of the offer of sale.

A Toronto conference judge (Wilson) had told him he must, but he did not agree.

He sent 150. CDN, and said to to to the US Consulate to sign the sales document. He said that if I delayed it would be my fault if the house did not close. My lawyer told me that the property had been in discussion since mid October.


After the sale

In spring of 2019 my former partner next wrote to me that unless I agreed to accept 20,000 he would hire the same lawyer and I would not know it was happening. He said I would get nothing. My money would be used to pay a lawyer.


I said no. I had paid the mortgage for more than 18 months. Fielding tuition, utilities, phones, child care and arrears prior to the sale of the Ontario property, my partner was in sufficient debt to me to accede the property to me.


He used the same lawyer and filed. I followed the case as my hanai mother and her assistant went to the Kona courthouse to get the documents.


I told this lawyer, in writing, that my address was with the Waimea Courthouse for service. I kept a record so that I would be safe, and did not believe it was safe to give my address directly because of the history of abuse. The lawyer did not serve it but applied and had his own order filed. You only need to word these things in a way that points a finger, and this team has been very successful. Of the money under his control he took 98% and gave 2%.







My former partner told the realtor that he had not brought the suit, that he wanted to cooperate.









His lawyer filed the motion on Dec 14, 2016 (see fig 2)



Fig 2



and I would not know. I paid 18 months of mortgage as well as large amounts in tuition and child care, utilities, so I said no. He used the same lawyer and filed. I followed the case as my hanai mother and her assistant went to the Kona courthouse to get the documents. I told this lawyer, in writing, that my address was with the Waimea Courthouse for service. I kept a record so that I would be safe, and did not believe it was safe to give my address directly because of the history of abuse. The lawyer did not serve it but applied and had his own order made legal. You only need to word these things in a way that points a finger, and this team has been very successful.







This is only one situation. There were many situations which would have put the kids directly in the middle of the divorce. My son would have been stopped from continuing in school, and my other son left in a dangerous situation, had I not continued to work for our benefit. This was very costly but ultimately successful in the ways that matter.

I was scared frequently. As my money diminished I kept wondering if it would be returned. If I hadn't paid for debts, there would have been consequences. The house would have gone into foreclosure, my child would not have finished school.

Yet the other partner behaved as if none of the payments had been made.


Money he removed despite a signed contract saying the money was shared, this was never returned, in fact my former partner did not provide disclosure. We need to look at our system whereby a partner can remove money secretly, without disclosure, yet not be penalized. It remains that he did this and then pointed a finger when necessities were needed and I used another account. (I was penalized for using this account, the sole account in my own name)


I had negotiated in an Ontario house sale to pay current taxes (my partner was the sole bread winner - this made sure he was not left with tax) and then discovered that the taxes I paid were for money my former partner had taken. He had not given disclosure. At the trail he brought 4 bank statements (which I asked the judge to order) which showed some of the withdrawals, but not all. You cannot make your argument in this atmosphere.


Disclosure is non-negotiable in a divorce.


Realizing that my former partner could not see the dignity of my position was simply not my problem. My responsibility is and remains myself and my children.


Financial abuse is in the new divorce act which is in law in June 2020. (See Part 1, Psychological Abuse/Entanglement Blog May 2020)




21 views