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Can divorce conflicts cost someone their professional license?

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2023 | Health Care Licensing Defense |

Workers in a variety of different professions, from medical doctors to financial professionals, may require state licensing. The process of obtaining a Wisconsin professional license often requires undergoing testing and a background check. Licensed professionals also typically need to commit to continuing education to ensure they remain informed of developments in their area of expertise.

Whether someone is an airline pilot or a nurse, they may worry that conflict with their spouse could put their career at risk. After all, most state licensing authorities allow members of the general public to initiate complaints that can trigger a professional investigation and possibly penalties for certain professionals.

Could allegations made during divorce proceedings impact someone’s career?

Discipline won’t occur without real evidence

The exaggerated stories people share about divorce ruining someone’s life are often full of half-truths and hyperbole. Yes, a vindictive spouse is in a position to share information with the public that could damage someone’s reputation. It is also true that some people will make patently untrue statements in the hopes of influencing what happens in divorce court. Others may try to punish their spouses for their perceived marital failings by attacking their social relationships or their careers.

For example, one spouse might claim in family court that the other is an alcoholic when in reality they only ever drink socially and do not have a habit of coming home intoxicated. People may raise those claims in the hopes of obtaining more favorable custody terms, but the courts generally demand corroborating evidence.

The same is thankfully true of the licensing boards that manage different professions. They will not take unsubstantiated claims very seriously. There needs to be evidence of substance abuse, criminal activity or other forms of misconduct for state licensing boards to investigate accusations made by an angry spouse and take disciplinary action against an individual.

Those who worry that their spouses may engage in misconduct to deprive them of career opportunities in the future might want to avoid certain behaviors during divorce and gather documentation validating their claims that they consistently adhere to appropriate professional standards for their industry. If a disciplinary hearing is necessary, the professional worried about their license will typically have the right to bring a lawyer to that hearing just as they would to any matter handled in criminal court.

Understanding the impacts that accusations and divorce testimony can have on someone’s career can help people feel more confident about filing for divorce in Wisconsin and about seeking legal guidance about their concerns accordingly.

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