For some people in Illinois, getting a divorce could cause a drop in their credit score. This might happen for reasons that are outside a person’s control. For example, creditors might lower an individual’s line of credit because of the drop in income that occurs when going from two paychecks to one. A person may need to refinance a home after buying out his or her spouse, and this could mean more debt, which affects his or her credit rating. Debt could be unevenly split, leading to a greater burden for one spouse.

However, in other cases, a person’s credit could be affected because of a spouse’s deliberate actions. This may be particularly likely if the divorce becomes contentious. When spouses share accounts, one person could run up debt for which the other individual is responsible. A person might even create debt in a spouse’s name and fail to disclose it in court. Debt could be split in the divorce agreement, but one spouse might not pay, which could hurt the other person’s credit.

Other times, people’s actions during or after the divorce can result in problems with credit even when those actions are not deliberate. For example, some individuals may not understand their obligations under the divorce decree. People also may lose track of bills and other financial obligations during the chaos of separation and divorce.

A decrease in their standard of living is a very real danger for many people after a divorce. For this reason, it is important that individuals protect themselves when it comes to property division. Talking about one’s goals and strategies ahead of time with an attorney may help. Some people may be hesitant to press for a share of the retirement account or other marital assets because they want the process over with more quickly, or they feel guilty about the divorce, but ensuring financial stability after divorce is important.