Financial abuse is a form of family and domestic violence. It is a pattern of control, exploitation or sabotage of money, finances and economic resources. This can happen to anyone, regardless of their financial capability. Financial Abuse Service NSW provides state-wide legal assistance, training and resources for community workers and systemic change through policy and law reform.
About the legal service
RLC’s Financial Abuse Service NSW provides free legal assistance to people across NSW who have experienced financial abuse in an intimate partner relationship.During COVID-19, we provide confidential trauma informed legal advice over the phone or on a video call.
We can assist with credit, debt and consumer law problems, including if a victim survivor’s partner has:
• accrued debts in their name (e.g. credit cards, loans, bills, fines, tolls, company/business or tax debts)
• borrowed money from them and has not paid it back
• pressured them to sign contracts, personal guarantees or make false declarations
• used their personal information to open an account without consent
• made them a director of a company.
We can also help if:
• A victim survivor wants to fix information on their credit report and improve their credit score after experiencing financial abuse
• A victim survivor is considering bankruptcy – because there may be other options.
We can also provide advice about family law financial matters, such as:
• dividing assets and debts in a property settlement
• spousal maintenance if they have future financial needs
• child support
• orders to allow the victim survivor to have exclusive occupation of the home
• options if their partner has transferred money from a joint account
• setting aside transactions that defeat a Family Law Claim
• setting aside orders made by the Family Court.
Client eligibility criteria
1. Any person who has experienced financial abuse; and
2. The financial abuse occurred in an intimate partner relationship; and
3. The legal problem originated in NSW (even if one or both parties have since relocated).
We do not assess income or assets (means test) for advice, however, our family law resources are limited, so we prioritise people who are unrepresented and unable to access family law advice elsewhere.
We recognise that anyone can be a victim of domestic abuse, regardless of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, faith or class.
Potential clients can contact us directly, or we welcome referrals.
We provide a safe, trauma informed intake process:
• Call us on 0481 730 344 Monday to Thursday between 9am and 1pm
• Use our confidential online form
We can provide a free telephone interpreter.