Having a security clearance means that the government expects you to hold yourself to a certain standard. They want to make sure the events of your life don’t reveal the secrets they charge you to keep. But can your divorce affect your clearance?

The government wants to know about any significant changes in your life. If they think that a divorce will affect your ability to protect national secrets, they may deny your security clearance.

Revenge can cost you your career

Your divorce can turn into an ugly battle. If you and your spouse disagree on multiple issues, you may let your emotions get the best of you. While this fighting can be difficult for any couple going through a divorce, it can cause damage to your career.

A spiteful ex-spouse may look for any way to get back at you. This revenge may include making claims about you and who you are. As embarrassing as this may be for you, your employer may consider it a detriment to your security clearance. They may worry that your ex will make it impossible for you to keep government secrets.

Your actions in divorce can put your security clearance in question

The reasons for your divorce may also affect your job. If you cheat on your spouse with a citizen of another country, you may disqualify yourself for a security clearance. If your spouse finds out and divorces you for that reason, your affair becomes public information in a court. And if you didn’t inform your employer, they may worry that you leaked sensitive information to a foreign national.

Reporting any issues may help you

A combative divorce can cause tensions for both you and your spouse. Not only does it affect your personal life, but it can also damage your career. Taking the proper steps to inform your employer about any changes may minimize the effect of divorce on your security clearance. You may also want to seek legal counsel to make sure you can prevent a security clearance denial.