Not sure if the papers are valid


#1

A long story short, my ex-girlfriend and I split up and I moved from NC to Pa to live with my new fiance’. Shortly after I moved up here my ex and I decided to go ahead and agree on a custody arrangement for our 2 yr old daughter. She printed a custody agreement off of the internet and we met at a paralegals office and the paralegal filled in the blanks of the papers, retyped it and notorized our signatures. These papers were then filed at the register of deeds. I am only to have my daughter for the summer and her mother is to have her from august to june. My question is, if these papers were not signed by a judge and were not court ordered or filed through the courts, are they valid? I have recently decided that I do not want to send my child back to her mother because she is very unfit and I am worried about the welfare of my child. If I were to NOT send her back to NC, is there anything that law enforcements can do to me for breaking the agreement.


#2

The custody agreement is a valid contract and it is enforceable. Your ex can sue for breach of contract, and if the court finds that she is a fit parent you will have to return your child, and may be liable for attorney’s fees.

If you believe that circumstances have changed since you signed the agreement you may file an action for child custody in NC and will have to prove to the court that the circumstances have changed in such a way that your child’s best interests are no longer served by the custodial arrangement outlined in the agreement.


#3

[quote=“Erin Clarey”]The custody agreement is a valid contract and it is enforceable. Your ex can sue for breach of contract, and if the court finds that she is a fit parent you will have to return your child, and may be liable for attorney’s fees.

If you believe that circumstances have changed since you signed the agreement you may file an action for child custody in NC and will have to prove to the court that the circumstances have changed in such a way that your child’s best interests are no longer served by the custodial arrangement outlined in the agreement.[/quote]

I had the clerk of courts tell me that the papers were not valid because they were filed in the register of deeds instead of the clerk of court and they said that if they were filed in the clerk of courts that they would be valid therefore they are not. i am so confused as to which way to go and all i want is what is best for my daughter. So if I were to not take her home can my ex put me in jail or even worse strip me of my parental rights? I am in the process of attempting to file for child custody but cannot do so in Pennsylvania until my daughter has been here for 6 months and that wont be until december.

Just a quick bit on why I dont think her mother is fit to raise her. She is very bad into drugs, for example she has lost over 100 lbs in less than a month because of crack/cocaine. She leaves her children with people so she can smoke weed. She does not get out of bed until after 1pm. She beats and abuses her 4 year old daughter which might I add weighs 100lbs. She is sleeping around with numerous different men and making her children call them all daddy. She has no job or car. She is selling pills and food stamps in order to buy all of her drugs. The list goes on and on but my problem is that I cannot prove a single bit of it because I live in a completely different state and have no one down there to help me with getting evidence.


#4

The clerk is incorrect, and should not be giving legal advice. The agreement is a valid contract and is enforceable by the courts. Your ex may file a breach of contract action against you for violating the agreement, but cannot have you put in jail. Based on the facts of the case, I cannot see that a judge would find you in breach as your ex seems to be a clear danger to the child.