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The process to obtain a security clearance is rigorous and requires that the holder and his/her partner are investigated and interviewed. However, your partner’s involvement doesn’t end once you are awarded a security clearance.

In fact, his or her behavior and actions can be a direct representation of your judgment and trustworthiness for access to classified information. Not only that, but they can also jeopardize your clearance eligibility.

Here’s how your spouse can ruin your security clearance.

1. Money Matters

If you are a security clearance holder, and your spouse handles all of your finances, be sure that you trust him or her implicitly. In the event that your spouse’s mismanagement of money results in bankruptcy or considerable debt, it can reflect poorly on you and jeopardize your security clearance.

In fact, in the eyes of the government, lack of knowledge about the dire state of your financial affairs doesn’t demonstrate a high level of reliability and judgement required of an individual with access to classified information.

2. Foreign Relations

Being married or in a relationship with someone that’s in the U.S. illegally is another factor that can affect your security clearance, as you are knowingly associating with a person who’s committed a crime.

However, this concern can be mitigated by immediately disclosing the relationship to your security officer and taking appropriate measures to help your spouse gain legal permanent resident statues. Additionally, his or her country of origin may be considered.

3. Ex-Files

Your ex-spouse may be contacted during your background investigation. If you are concerned that he or she may try to sabotage your security clearance with false information, you can note this in your SF-86 and include character statements to refute his/her claims.

Additionally, it’s recommended that you notify your security officer if you begin divorce proceedings.

4. Recreational Habits or Livelihood

Although some states have legalized the use of recreational marijuana, it is still considered illegal at a federal level. Therefore, if your spouse engages in recreational marijuana or works at a dispensary, it could be problematic for your security clearance.

To learn more about how your spouse can ruin your security clearance, please call our office today to schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys.