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Romance and security clearance do not always mix

Whether you are a member of the U.S. military or you are Virginia civilian who works with classified information, your security clearance is important to you. Depending on your level of clearance, you have likely gone through numerous investigations, interviews and evaluations, especially if you moved to higher clearance levels.

Just as important as obtaining that clearance is keeping it. Periodically, the government will review your security clearance to determine if you are eligible for renewal. However, at any time, a personal situation may arise that may cause the government to suspend your clearance.

Who is at risk?

If you work with classified information, the government is concerned not only with you but also with those closest to you. This is why your love life may be of considerable importance to clearance investigators. Romantic partners tend to hear one's deepest secrets, so if you are dating or looking for a relationship, you must be especially careful about the people you allow into your world.

While it may seem far-fetched to some, you know the power of the information to which you have access. Enemies of the government may also know this about you, and it is common for those who mean the U.S. harm to seek any vulnerable factors they can exploit. As a result, your clearance may be under investigation if you are in any of the following situations:

  • In a relationship with someone who is not a U.S. citizen, especially from a country that is not friendly to the United States
  • Prone to breaking federal law by engaging in relations with prostitutes
  • In a relationship with someone who uses or abuses drugs, even recreational marijuana, which is still a federal offense
  • Going through a bitter breakup or divorce with someone who may lie about, exaggerate or reveal any violations of the law you may have committed
  • In a relationship with a much younger partner, which may arouse suspicion with clearance investigators as to the motives behind your partner's interest in you

Perhaps the most common issue for those who hold security clearance is having a spouse or partner who struggles with finances or spends extravagantly. Someone like this may be more likely to accept bribes or place you in the position of being blackmailed. Even if you are unaware of the financial situation your partner is in, your security clearance may be in jeopardy. Any time you face issues that may place your career at risk, you can reach out for legal assistance from an experienced attorney.

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