“Relationship difficulties are often painful and traumatic for the individuals involved, and the range of emotions that are experienced can feel unpredictable, adding to their vulnerability. The added ingredient of domestic violence can make the process of separation and divorce more difficult and damaging” (Royles, 2017).
As a qualified psychotherapist, former police officer, and as Director of Royles LTD; which provides Case-Building, Investigation and Emotional Support I have worked with many individuals who have gone through a relationship breakdown, separation, or divorce.
Divorce is recognised as one of the top most stressful experiences a person can have, “it can be difficult, traumatic and distressing, and when the process is alienating, void of feelings of warmth towards each other, and reliant on both parties being honest, it can be a challenging process to navigate through” (Royles, 2017).
“In order for the divorce process to work effectively it requires all parties to be cooperative, transparent, and honest, when this doesn’t happen the divorce process is potentially vulnerable to loopholes for one or both parties to take advantage of and manipulate the system and process. There is scope within the current process for either party to indulge in lies, deceit, criticisms and false accusations, despite the involvement of legal professionals” (Royles, 2017).
One significant area where there is great concern, is within the ‘banking system’ in the Uk.
Having experienced issues personally with the closing of bank accounts and changing of personal details through both a separation, and a divorce, in addition to listening to the accounts of numerous ‘clients’ who have faced difficulties also. It can not only be a very difficult process to negotiate your way through, but it often adds to the trauma encountered, yet more worryingly it can place the individual is ‘real danger’.
Bank’s insisting on sending letters to both parties when a ‘victim of domestic violence’ needs to close a joint account, can inflame an already volatile situation. Bank’s writing to a ‘victim’ at their former address instead of just a new address to confirm the authorisation equally has the potential to aggravate behaviour, and disclosure the whereabouts of the partners who is more than likely ‘escaping’ a controlling and/or abusive relationship. Bank’s also seek to ask and gain the permission of both parties for any amendments to accounts where one is in joint names, which allows the scope for the controlling, and abusive party to delay matters, and become difficult, leading to more upset, distress and trauma for the victim (or wounded party in the divorce or separation).
There is much talk, and action around domestic violence with the various political parties seeking to improve matters relating to domestic violence and abuse, equally there is consultation in progress relating to the process of divorce (i.e top Judges advocating for quicker divorce processes, and no fault to speed things up – which incidentally often plays into the hands of the controlling perpetrator), but strangely enough there is not much joined up thinking when the two issues are brought together.
I would like your help in getting the ‘banking industry’ to review and amend its policies and procedures in the way it deals with victims of domestic violence and abuse, individuals going through divorce and separation in general, but especially when the two issues are encountered together.
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