“This is a game to them, and they enjoy the game,” said Lisa Helfend Meyer, a partner with the boutique law firm Meyer Olson Lowy & Meyers in Los Angeles.
One important caveat: If your controlling spouse is also a physical abuser, the first step— even if you’re not ready financially — is to get yourself and your children out of the house.
If you’re physically safe, it’s time to make your financial preparations. You’re moving to reclaim your independent financial life. In short, have your own cash, be ready to do the unthinkable, and check your emotions at the door.