Navigating Financial Abuse in Relationships

I am a partner with Brauti Thorning LLP and practice exclusively in the area of family law, with a particular focus on cases involving domestic violence and spousal abuse. Every month I send out a newsletter full of helpful tips, advice and insights that will help you navigate through family law challenges.

Leanne’s Divorcing Well podcast: Financial abuse

Financial abuse by a spouse or partner is a troubling issue that’s showing up more often in divorce proceedings.

This type of coercive control is rooted in a desire to have power over the other spouse. It affects women and men from every socio-economic background, and often accompanies other forms of abuse in the relationship.

In an enlightening episode of my Divorcing Well podcast, I spoke with Certified Divorce Coach Jennifer Lawrence of Designed Divorce about the signs of financial abuse and steps you can take to protect yourself or manage it. Every day, Jennifer says she talks to women who can’t access the funds they need to leave toxic marriages.

Like other relationships with power imbalances, financial abuse poses challenges when it comes to divorce. Jennifer offers some helpful tips and strategies to navigate a controlling and abusive partner and we discuss the type of evidence that’s required to prove financial abuse in court.

Listen to the episode on Apple or Spotify.

How my divorce made me a stronger and more empathetic legal advocate for clients

When I tell clients going through divorce that I understand the pain of having their lives turned upside down, I’m speaking from experience. 

My ex-husband and I divorced in 2008, and while it hasn’t always been easy, we’ve been successfully co-parenting our two children ever since. 

Through the journey of divorce, I learned how to step into my power as a strong, independent woman and successful family lawyer. 

In my recent blog, I share how the experience made me a more effective and empathetic legal advocate for my clients.

Divorce may signal the end of the marriage, but it can also mark the beginning of a new chapter and present an opportunity for positive change, growth and creating the life you really want.

Read more

The Dish on Divorce: New YouTube show launching in March

I’m thrilled to announce that family law mediator Jennifer Barkin and I are launching a new YouTube show, The Dish on Divorce.

Starting in March, The Dish on Divorce will feature real divorce talk, focusing on both the serious aspects and some light and entertaining content to help support your journey.

We’ll talk about celebrity divorces in the news, child/spousal support, custody, mediation and provide tips for self-care and dating after divorce. 

The show is for men and women, and we want to hear from you on topics you’d like us to chat about. DM us your ideas on Instagram: Jennifer is at @familymediationtoronto and I’m at @leannetownsendlife.

Navigating divorce when your kids see you as 'The Bad Guy'

During a divorce, it is almost inevitable that there will be contentious issues that you’ll have to take a stand for. Sometimes your children won’t understand your choices, even when they’re rooted in love, safety, honesty and integrity.

In a new guest blog, KellyK Professional Life Coach shares about her acrimonious divorce and the tough decisions she made that had her kids label her “The Bad Guy.”

This painful process lasted more than four years and resulted in the suspension of her ex-husband’s driver’s licence, his passport and a court order to pay support or go to jail.

If you are looking to harness your power and reinvent yourself after a divorce, KellyK’s story will inspire you. Today, she’s a divorced mother of three, a successful entrepreneur and the happiest she’s ever been.

Serving clients during COVID-19

As we navigate the new normal amid the COVID-19 pandemic,
the safety and well-being of clients is my top priority. Social distancing is vital right now to prevent the spread of the virus so I will continue to work with clients through virtual meetings. If you have any questions or concerns about your family law matter or would like to schedule a meeting, please reach out to me by email.


Looking for more information on what to expect during a divorce, abusive relationships, love and money, life after divorce or other family law topics? 


Check out the In the News and Blog sections of my website where there’s a wealth of great content to get you up to speed on everything you need to know.

Leanne Townsend, Family Lawyer

Partner, Brauti Thorning LLP
Brookfield Place161 Bay Street,
Suite 2900,
Toronto, ON M5J 2S1

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Leanne Townsend Lawyer and Divorce Coach
Leanne Townsend is a multifaceted entrepreneur and attorney experienced in the areas of family law and domestic violence. She provides a full range of family law legal services in addition to running workshops and other programs to support people as they go through divorce.

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