Wednesday, July 25, 2018

I need your help

Not at all the reason I'd hope to finally get around to writing a blog post, but here it is.
I need help helping someone else leave a long term abusive relationship, and I have no idea where to start. She is willing to leave, however because of how she is I sort of need to pluck her from her current situation and present her with her "new life" - she is in her 70s and has put up with things this long and would rather just be miserable in her current situation rather than face uncertainty and be alone in a shelter type situation (although there is a new stress point in the relationship and she recognizes that her situation is extra volatile at the moment).

Her half of his pension (she has never really worked outside of a family business, which is currently facing closure, this is the change in situation that has made it time senstive) plus her OAS should be enough for her to live on - how long can it be expected to take for her to be granted that? He certainly won't give it to her willingly.

Is there a way to freeze the bank accounts (or more likely, lines of credit) so that he can't drain them?  I believe that they have joint accounts, however, they have a very "old fashioned" situation where she seems to not really know much, if anything, about their finances. The flip side to that question I suppose is, if it's a joint account/line of credit, how much could she withdraw on her own? Is that amount set by the individual banking institution or some sort of federally regulated thing? My understanding from what I have read is that she could file for divorce, and he could contest it, but that after 1 year it would be granted regardless?

I really don't know much about their financial situation in general (because she doesn't) but I don't think with their combined income that she would be considered low income, but on her own with just half of his pension and her OAS she likely would be - how does one qualify for legal aid and is this (divorce/separation) even something that is covered under that?

Of course in an ideal world she would be entitled to half of the value of the family home etc, however I know that could take quite some time, and he would likely contest everything to make her suffer. More than anything we need her to have access to her half of his pension.

He is currently just extremely emotionally abusive, in the past it has been physical abuse as well. There is concern that the unexpected closure of the family business (which is "all her fault " as has been screamed at her several times) will lead to him physically abusing her again.

Is there such a thing as being able to expedite getting into Manitoba Housing or other Rent Geared to Income housing? With how beaten down she is mentally I think the only way we will be able to get her to leave is if we treat her like a sleeping child in a car - pick her up out of her current place and gently place her down in a new one (basically, "here you are, this is your new apartment you live here now, you don't ever have to go back").

If there's anyone who is able to help guide me in the right direction I would be very grateful; I'm happy to buy you a coffee and have a chat. This woman has been part of my life for over 30 years and I'm so pleased she's finally willing to leave - we just need to be able to set her up with a little apartment and I'm not able to help her financially to do that.

Eternally grateful for any help you can offer me readers.
xx WinnipegGirl