> Yikes. What a disturbing story. Do you recall the grounds on
> which the suit was decided? A contract is a contract, or so it
> should be. The only grounds for nullification of a contract of
> this sort that I'm aware of are: 1) one of the parties to the
> contract was a) compelled to sign, or b) not in his/her right
> mind; and 2) a lawyer wasn't present during the signing, and
> thus one of the parties signed something "not knowing what it
> meant/how to interpret it."
...or the contract is not for a "legal purpose", as in a contract to sell stolen property. That's what this court found. The child, it ruled, had a positive statutory entitlement not just to support, but to support /from its father/, and that entitlement of the child belonged to the child, and therefore the mother did not have the legal right to bargain it away by agreeing to support the child on her own. Other contracts--adoptions, for example--can be voided by a court if it finds that the terms of the contract are contrary to public policy, even absent specific illegal purpose. Courts can and do overrule contracts between competent, informed, consenting parties every day.
-- Lee Daniel Crocker <email@example.com> <http://www.piclab.com/lcrocker.html> "All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past, are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC