SF-86. Section 18 - Relatives - FORMER IN-LAWS

Does former mother-in-law count as relative? What about my former spouse’s father? He passed away before we got married, does he count as former father-in-law? I am having difficulty understanding why “former” counts as relative, the way the form is, it appears to be active/current. Please help. Thanks.

Are you separated? List in-laws.
Divorced? Obviously you don’t have in-laws.


You list your current spouse’s parents. If you don’t have a current spouse, you don’t list anyone.


Great! Thank you, Harpoon. Much appreciated.

Thank you @investigator721. I thought so too being divorced myself. First time ever filling up this application. So, when I asked the FSO the same question, I was told yes, former in-law are relative. Well, yes may be in the context of life if still on good terms or children etc are in the picture. I guess, I should ask and rephrase the question to the FSO that when divorced, are in-laws still considered relatives for the purpose of this form. Or just not ask again and go ahead fill the form already “with the correct understanding” that former in-laws when I am divorced don’t count as relatives for this form and deal with it later during investigation if comes up.

It is not a trick question or test, not married, no in-laws, divorced, no in-laws, if you are married, you have in-laws. Fill out the form, answering the questions asked, you are overthinking it.


Haha! Correct. Thanks. :+1:

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My wife do not know her father. Father is not listed on her birth certificate. Her mother was deceased only at the age of one year old. Is that a major issue?

As for biological father, list what you know. If you know a name, citizenship, etc, list it. If unknown, list “unknown”

During my first investigation I listed my spouse’s stepfather as my father in law. Spouse had no relationship with his biological father, I had never met the bio father, and I viewed my spouse’s step father as my father in law. I got a call post interview to explain why my married name was different than my listed father in law’s. Explained the situation and had to provide what little I knew (a name only) about the bio father who is technically my father in law.

Not an issue per se, but they view your in laws as the biological or legally adoptive parents of your spouse. Step in laws are not required to be listed, but stepparents and step siblings are.