Divorce is very common in Illinois and other areas among couples of all age groups. Anyone going through a divorce will encounter challenging decisions, such as how to divide property, how to share child custody and how debts will be divided. Divorce can cause hardships financially, but it is possible for a person going through a divorce to take steps to preserve their credit rating.
While a divorce is pending, any bills that were paid in both spouses' names should still be paid on time. This is easier if spouses can work together. It is important for anyone in this situation not to assume that their future ex-spouse will pay all the bills that he or she said would be paid on time.
Shared accounts should be closed as soon as possible. This can help prevent more debt from accumulating. If there are any credit cards where one spouse is an authorized user, the spouse should be removed as soon as possible to prevent them from running up the bill and later claiming that they are not responsible since the card was in the other spouse's name.
A person going through a divorce should also take steps to begin building a credit history in his or her own name. This will be important going forward for many different reasons, including finding a place to live, securing a job, buying a car or obtaining loans.
Anyone facing the end of a marriage may benefit from consulting a divorce attorney. It is wise to consult an attorney before making any decisions to pay off large amounts of debt prior to obtaining a final decree of divorce. In some cases, a judge may be able to issue a temporary order stating which party will be responsible for certain debts while the divorce is pending. A judge may divide any remaining debt that is not paid off prior to the final divorce hearing according to principles of equity, or fairness.