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Child support and good cause in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania residents might agree that divorce can become extremely complicated when children are involved. What spouses very often forget is that although they might have fallen out of love, their children often still wish that they could live together. Therefore, in the best interest of the child, the court orders one parent to have custody of the child and the other parent to pay child support, and, in most cases, that supporting parent will have visitation rights.

However, if the custodial parent has applied for cash assistance, which is also known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, or TANF, according to the law, there must be cooperation in establishing paternity. If domestic violence is an issue, the County Assistance Office may be contacted. The recipient of the funds will not have to cooperate based on the principle of good cause.

Good cause is given when it becomes difficult for the parent to pursue child support because of domestic violence. Good cause is also given when a person is at further risk of being physically abused. There are other grounds for granting good cause as well. First, if a baby was conceived after rape or incest; second, if court proceedings for adoption are pending; and third, if a recipient is working with an agency to decide if a child in question should be given up for adoption.

Claiming good cause is possible at any point in time. If an individual receives TANF, the current child support will have to be paid to Pennsylvania. This is referred to as an assignment of support rights and Pennsylvania law requires that the child support that is paid to the state should be equal to the amount of TANF received by the custodial parent.

Source: State.PA.us, "Pennsylvania Child Support Handbook," Accessed on April 30, 2015

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