An Australian woman who was made to believe she and her husband were struggling financially has found out they own 15 properties since they divorced.
Joanne, 63, whose name has been changed for anonymity reasons, told News.com.au she was none the wiser until she visited her divorce lawyer to find out what percentage of the couple's assets she owned.
"After we separated, I found out that we owned 15 properties and had bank accounts containing thousands of dollars," Joanne said.
Before the divorce, her husband gave her a weekly allowance for groceries and bills, she says.
"When I needed more money for something for the children or myself he would tell me that there was no more money and that me or the children would have to go without.
"He even said that we were struggling to afford basic living costs and extras were a 'no-no'. I was told that I had to give up any luxuries and do everything I could to save money."
Family lawyer Marie Fedorov told News.com.au Joanne's story is not uncommon.
"Often, one person in a couple manages finances, leaving the other completely in the dark," Ms Fedorov said.
"I've noticed that it's common among people aged over 55 to see the man control the finances and, in many cases, the woman is totally oblivious and trusting of her partner."
Joanne is now advising other women to be aware of their finances.