Since it is not far from the center of the federal government, many people in Virginia naturally have civilian government jobs or military positions which require a security clearance through the Department of Defense.
Likewise, many residents of the greater Virginia Beach area work as federal contractors on various sensitive government projects. They may also need a security clearance.
Not being able to obtain, or keep, a security clearance is a death knell for a person’s job since, without the clearance, a person cannot legally perform their work.
To obtain a security clearance, a person has to convince the government that granting the clearance is consistent with the national interest.
A series of seemingly minor lapses in judgment, careless mistakes, and other common human errors can derail a security clearance, even if they are far from criminal and may otherwise have no impact on a person’s life.
Allegations in a divorce can impact a security clearance
Likewise, the government will conduct a thorough investigation of a person applying for a security clearance, particularly at higher levels. This means that prior custody proceedings, divorces and the like will be fair game.
A government official may even elect to interview a person’s ex before deciding whether to grant a security clearance.
It may come as no surprise that a contentious divorce with hard feelings and allegations of misconduct thrown back and forth can cause a person issues with obtaining or keeping their clearance.
Protecting a security clearance is a two-front battle
Divorce in of itself is generally not a reason to worry about one’s security clearance. Generally speaking, its best to be as upfront as possible about the divorce.
For example, someone applying for a clearance may want to note their concerns about what an ex-spouse may say in an interview, particularly if the applicant suspects their spouse may exaggerate or even lie.
Detailed questions about how a divorce may affect one’s security clearance should be directed to an experienced attorney.
Likewise, a family law attorney can take steps designed to ensure that a divorce does not cause issues with a security clearance.