Divorce, Alimony, and Your Clearance Investigation

When it comes to background research and security clearance divorce, there are two types of ex-spouses: those who receive child support and / or child support and those who don’t.

Neither child support nor child support is a joke, but when I was a federal background investigator, my co-workers and I ironically noted that figuring out who fell into which category wasn’t hard. The ex-spouse, who couldn’t wait to tell us why the subject of our investigation should never be given a foreseeable release, fell into the latter column. Those who sounded ready to recite their vows invariably counted on their ex’s paychecks to move on.

Money talks

This dynamic sometimes surprises security holders off guard, especially after a sharp breakup. Over the years, some rather confused customers have mistakenly believed that an ex-spouse suddenly singing praises to the background investigators has had a change of heart. Trust me at the risk of being callous or cynical: there is a reason for the sudden love feast and it is not a longing for old times.

On the flip side, the hot ex is usually pretty consistent in expressing his disdain for the approval owner. There is a consistent and clearly understandable pattern of “I hate that (insert an expletive of choice here)” of divorce petitions to the present.

Unpredictable situations

The wild card in all of this is the ex-spouse, who falls behind from friendly to bad years after a breakup. These situations, which investigators see from time to time, typically arise as the result of two scenarios: (1) new knowledge of infidelity or other breaches of trust that occurred during the marriage, or (2) alimony and / or alimony for Child payments that are inconsistent and on time.

Not much can be done in the first few years after the crime, but in the latter case, circumstances beyond the control of the permit holder, such as job loss or serious illness, are completely preventable. Subject to unusual circumstances such as these, a permit holder or applicant who is significantly in arrears on child support or child support will not be deemed required by the government to undergo a security clearance.

The lesson?

Don’t underestimate the importance of consistent and timely child support and child support payments. What now seems like a satisfactory way of gluing it to an explosion-proof can is only going to hurt the spacer on the road.

This article is for general information only and should not be construed as legal advice. Consult an attorney about your specific situation.

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