Obtaining Security Clearance

Contractor Overcomes Contentious Divorce to Keep Security Clearance

As we all know, divorces have the potential to get messy. Property and monetary compensation are motivation for one or both parties to resort to emotional manipulation and false accusations in order to gain leverage in negotiations. Maintaining eligibility for a security clearance could also be at risk if the situation deteriorates. One such Defense Office of Hearing and Appeals (DOHA) case involved exactly this. The applicant is a defense contractor and long-time clearance holder. He was involved in two extremely contentious relationships, one with the ex-spouse and the other a live-in girlfriend, both of whom made false accusations against the applicant over a variety of things that resulted in arrests and criminal charges. That is not to say the applicant didn’t bear any responsibility for his behavior, he readily admitted to being equally at fault. As a result, he was initially denied eligibility by the DoD CAF and subsequently submitted an appeal.

The passage of time since these incidents occurred helped mitigate the criminal and personal conduct issues, as did testimony from witnesses that corroborated the applicant’s version of what lead to all of the incidents. Also, the fact the applicant was able to retain custody of the children after the divorce validated his claims. The judge in this appeal noted the applicant has matured and learned from these previous relationships and most likely would not put himself in that position again. Security clearance applicants and current holders have more to lose than just money or a home; loss of clearance eligibility could damage a career for an interminable amount of time and cause financial hardship. Consider the consequences before taking any action or behaving in a manner that might jeopardize your livelihood.

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