My Child’s Father and I Signed a Notarized Agreement Concerning Custody and Child Support, Is it Admissible in Court?

“Is a notarized agreement that has been signed by all parties involved, a legal document and can it be used in court ( in the state of WV)? I am a single mom of an 11 month old little girl. Her biological father has not been in her life in any way shape or form, and he and I have never been married or lived together. He and I came to an agreement regarding custody, visitation, payments, etc., had it notarized and we signed it. Now that child support has been ordered, he’s trying to go against our agreement. How much right do I have with this notarized document? Him not being there for her the first year of her life, is it considered abandonment? He’s willing to sign over all his rights to her, if he doesn’t have to pay child support. His current wife is also a threat to my daughter. Would a judge honor any of our requests or take into consideration the wife, and allow him to give up his rights, or at least grant me full guardianship and give him supervised visitation only? Any advice you can give would be greatly appreciated!”

It would be helpful to know what it says in the “notarized agreement.” Until a judge makes a determination it is not a court order. There are specific procedures necessary for someone to lose their parental rights. If he has “supervised visits” it necessarily means his parental rights have not been terminated, only curtailed.

Whatever you agreed with him about support would likely be superceded by the child support guidelines of West Virginia. If the amount is too low, your child deserves more. If it is too high, your baby daddy would be entitled to relief.

With regards to visitation and custody, the agreement is evidence of what you and he agreed to and the status quo. You may able to get those terms as an order, but it may be subject to modification, and the Court will look to your daughter’s best interests to determine the timeshare plan.

If the wife is an established threat to children – domestic violence history, record of child molestation or abuse, etc. – then you may be able to shift the focus onto her and away from you and your daughter’s father.

Children deserve to have association with their mother and father if both are willing and able to do so. Put your daughter’s best interests first.

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