When a client gives proof of good cause and is unwilling to identify the noncustodial parent of the child(ren), do not pursue the matter further. If good cause is later determined not to exist, the client must cooperate in the CSE process.
Decide if a good cause claim exists based upon the information given by the client.
For cases in which good cause exists based on an event that may change, review the exemption from cooperation at each REDE. If events have changed enough so that good cause no longer exists, the client must cooperate.
Rape or Incest
When proof of rape or incest is given, exempt the client from cooperation in the CSE process.
When proof is given that the child may be released for adoption, exempt the client from cooperation in the CSE process.
When a determination is made regarding an exemption from cooperation based upon emotional harm to the child or the client, consider the following:
- the present emotional state of the person subject to emotional harm;
- the emotional health history of the person subject to emotional harm;
- intensity and probable duration of the emotional upset;
- the degree of cooperation to be required; and
- the extent of involvement of the child in the paternity establishment or support enforcement activity to be undertaken.
Domestic or Sexual Violence
When a client claims good cause due to domestic or sexual violence and cannot give proof, they must explain why they have no proof. Help the client get proof if they ask. If no proof is obtainable, determine if good cause may be based on the anticipation of physical harm, if the claim is believable without proof. The client has the burden of establishing the validity of the claim as well as explaining why no evidence is available.
Anytime the client states they or their child(ren) are a victim of domestic or sexual violence, tell them to contact community agencies that provide domestic and sexual violence programs. Tell them to make contact with the agencies whether or not there is proof of domestic or sexual violence.
When determining good cause due to domestic or sexual violence, never contact the noncustodial parent.
If the client's claim of good cause is denied, notify the client and let them give more information. If the client cannot give more information, advise them:
- the good cause claim will be denied, and
- we will contact the noncustodial parent to pursue child support enforcement proceedings.
Tell the client that they may withdraw the application for benefits or request cancellation of benefits to prevent us from pursuing child support enforcement and contacting the noncustodial parent.