If you have a security clearance and are going through a divorce, special considerations demand you walk an extremely fine line or risk your clearance being investigated, suspended, or even revoked.
There is a balancing act to protecting your security clearance versus protecting your own interests – financial and otherwise – in a divorce.
An experienced attorney who understands the demands of an employee with a security clearance will be able to provide you with a much better chance at a proper outcome.
First, consider if and when you need to disclose anything to a security officer. In part, that depends on your actual clearance. It also depends on the nature of the divorce proceeding.
Only you know the level of your clearance and whether and when you need to report to your security officer. However, you can attempt to control the type of divorce you have while maximizing your ability to get what you need from the process.
Issues within the divorce process that can enhance the possibility of having to self-report include – but are not limited to – allegations of domestic violence, allegations of hiding assets or income, custody evaluations in which a third-party custody evaluator may make statements about you, and the involvement of mental health care providers who may issue such reports as a psychological evaluation.
Sometimes, an angry spouse may place your security clearance in jeopardy by attempting to contact your security officer or someone else who feels they have a duty to report to your security officer.
Issues of adultery and extra-marital relationships often wind up causing a report to a security officer.
Don’t forget about your routine review of your security clearance, which may include your estranged spouse being interviewed, as well as you being polygraphed, both of which could trigger additional review.
If you suspect you may be headed towards a divorce and you hold a security clearance, you should do two things rather quickly. First, review the conditions upon which you may need to report to a security officer. Second, seek the counsel of an experienced divorce attorney who routinely handles cases involving security clearances.
One last word of wisdom: no one in the court system, from your attorney to the judge, needs to know the level or nuances of your clearance. In fact, it could even violate your clearance to disclose that information. Be aware of any statements you make or are made about you that are in writing or otherwise “on the record.”
Protect yourself. Protect your clearance. Protect your employment. They are keys to your coming out of your divorce with positive future opportunities.
Call SIEGELLAW at 410-792-2300 for help or fill out the form on this page to request additional information.