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How divorce can impact your security clearance

On Behalf of | May 23, 2024 | Divorce

Divorce can create significant changes in a person’s life, and it can also affect their security clearance.

Maintaining a security clearance requires demonstrating stability and reliability. Divorce can introduce factors that challenge these requirements.

Financial strain

According to the CDC, the divorce rate in Texas is 1.4 per 1,000 couples. One way divorce can impact a security clearance is through financial strain. Divorces often result in financial difficulties due to legal fees, alimony, child support and the division of assets. These financial challenges can lead to debt, missed payments or bankruptcy. Financial instability raises red flags for a security clearance because it can make someone more vulnerable to bribery.

Emotional stress

Emotional stress from a divorce also poses a risk to security clearance. The process of ending a marriage can cause significant emotional turmoil, including anxiety, depression or anger. Emotional instability can affect job performance and decision-making, which are important for a security clearance. Evaluators may see emotional instability as a risk to national security.

Relationships and trustworthiness

Divorce can also impact relationships and trustworthiness, both of which are necessary for maintaining a security clearance. A contentious divorce may involve accusations, conflicts or even legal battles over custody and assets. Such conflicts can lead to questions about a person’s judgment and reliability. If someone appears to have poor judgment or engages in questionable behavior during a divorce, their ability to maintain a security clearance may come into question.

Changes in living arrangements

Furthermore, a divorce can lead to changes in living arrangements, which can affect a person’s stability. Frequent moves can signal instability to security clearance evaluators.

Maintaining communication and transparency

It is important to maintain communication and transparency with the agency that granted the security clearance during a divorce. Reporting significant changes in financial status, emotional well-being and living arrangements can demonstrate responsibility and integrity.

Obtaining a security clearance is challenging and maintaining it during a divorce can also be tricky.