My ex-husband has a secret security clearance; a while ago he mentioned that his clearance was due for a reinvestigation. We divorced this year because I discovered he had an affair. During the divorce process I learned that we had more than $130,000 in debt (most of it credit card debt that he incurred without my knowledge) and that he had spent more than $20,000 gambling in the last 6 months (post-separation). He took all of the debt in the divorce. I also received a court order for $500 in attorney’s fees that he owes me but hasn’t paid. He owes me more than $3,000 in back child support. Finally, he is a very heavy drinker and he physically abused me (I received services from the local domestic violence shelter). I have been told that I most likely will be interviewed as part of the reinvestigation process. I’m worried that he will lose his clearance if I am asked questions about our finances/divorce. What can I do?
Foremost, without making any judgments on him, the important part is that you are honest and forthcoming for any questions that you are asked. It is not your job to decide which information the government should be privy to during his investigation.
As said above, be open and honest, it is the best way to go.
Absolutely be honest. And yes we all understand you have a financial stake in him maintaining a clearance and a job and paying support and the $500 to you, plus $3K. And then continuing to pay. Unfortunately his decisions will not impact him. The drinking, the gambling, his credit score, and the debts, not to mention the criminal charges of abuse. I truly wish you well. This may be the wake up call he needs to get straight and fix his issues.
He is going to lose his clearance, and since he is working now and not paying you child support he may go to jail as well. I understand that you have a financial interest in him keeping his job, however if he is not paying you anyhow, I would be honest and put the spurs to this filth. I have a serious issue with people who do not support their children, serious issues.
@mick85a, I can imagine that this is not an easy decision for you. As others have alluded, you should be as honest and frank. If you want, you can have a representative with you during the interview.
Nonetheless, I hope you will look at the bigger picture. The person is holding a national security position. He is responsible for safeguarding our country’s sensitive information. Countless of lives, including our analysts, officers, warfighters, civilians, etc are dependant on people like him. It is my hope that you will bring that into consideration.
You said it was a secret security clearance…ex-spouses are not normally interviewed unless there is an issue that needs to be accounted for. Unless he admits (volunteers) to the drinking, gambling, domestic violence (assuming there was no police involved), and affair…you likely will not be interviewed. This is the problem with the secret clearances…all the work is mostly based on what the individuals volunteer (again assuming no police were involved). The finances will likely come up (if delinquent - debt alone is not a problem), but I am going to assume he isn’t going to admit to a gambling problem (he might not think he has a problem).
If this were for a TS clearance that would be a different story.
All that said and done…if you are interviewed, be honest…your exhusband does not deserve a clearance…but that is his own fault, not yours.
I am pretty sure OP will be interviewed given the recency of the divorce unless the clearance holder did not disclose this information, but I imagine that this information (divorce) will eventually be discovered through sources (court records, references, etc.). No?
He would have to admit to the divorce and a reason would be discussed. Fieldwork for secret clearances revolves around issues. Former spouses are not routinely interviewed. The former spouse would only be interviewed to “resolve” an issue. Most of the issues brought forth by the OP are not issues that would be reported in the case papers - gambling problem, excessive alcohol use (you could argue his alcohol use had a negative impact on his life, but he would have to admit to that and he probably doesn’t think he has a problem), domestic violence (case papers only ask for arrests/police involvement), financial debt (again debt is not a problem, delinquency is). The fact that he owes $3000 in back child support could come up if it is on his credit report, but if the child support didn’t go through the courts, it likely won’t come up. For secret clearances there are also thresholds that have to be met before an interview is even required. If there isn’t a record of some of these issues, the guy might not even get an interview to discuss the divorce (and maybe ultimately lead the investigator to the other issues).
While these issues are severe and should cause someone to get a clearance denied, they all require the subject to volunteer their bad behavior…most people don’t just tell you their worst behaviors without being forced.
Probably the back child support that will get the interview because it’s a court case involving the ex-spouse. But don’t worry he’ll lie and say he doesn’t know where you are. Smh
First, I want to thank you all for your advice. It took me three months to even pose my question to you as I feel a lot of shame. But after reading these forums during that time I saw how you are professional, non-judgemental, and focused on moving folks forward and it made it possible for me to put in words my experience and seek advice. Again, thank you. Back child support and lawyers fees are court-ordered. Current child support will come out of his salary as soon as they can go through the process (up to 45 days); anything he chooses to not pay up until then will go into “arrears” and the state will come up with a payment plan; I’ve been told it likely will be $100/month till it is paid in full. However, as long as there is a payment plan and he honors it, it is not considered delinquent. He has managed to make minimum monthly payments on his credit cards. I appreciate your wise counsel and I will do as advised. Thanks.
Tell the truth. Lying doesn’t help you or him or US the public…Let chips fall as they go. We don’t want people to have clearances that may hurt their workplaces, other people or the nation. Clearances are not for everyone. Didn’t sound like a guy who can be trusted to be responsible in a job needing a clearance. Right?
Honestly, you are not being investigated and you are not under oath. You WILL NOT be confronted on any of the issues you mentioned but only asked certain trigger questions. How you respond to those questions are your business and your business only! The Investigstor can only take what you give him and then move on. Use your best judgement as to what is best for you.
The OP posted this in the middle of June and hasn’t been heard from since the end of that month . . .