You may enter into contracts as an ordinary part of doing business, and you often do not feel you need to seek legal advice to do so, until something goes wrong. You may have been served with a breach of contract lawsuit, but the situation is such that you believe the contract should not be enforced.
Four ways a contract could be unenforceable
The following are four ways a contract could be made unenforceable.
Under the legal doctrine known as the statute of frauds,” some contracts must be written — specifically contracts involving real estate. Oral contracts that should have been written may not be enforceable, and you may not be required to perform under them.
Contracts also must contain mutual assent. This means that both parties have the same understanding of all essential terms and conditions. If you both made a mistake regarding an essential term of the agreement, the contract may be “rescinded”
Contracts must also be definite. This means that all essential terms and conditions are understood and are not vague. If a term is vague and it is an essential term to the agreement, you could claim that the contract is indefinite and thus you should not have to perform under it.
Finally, both sides of a contract must be truthful with one another. If one party to the agreement lies about an essential term or condition, thus deceiving the other party, it could be argued that the tricked party never meant to agree to the terms of the contract, since they would not do so if they had not been lied to. This is referred to as “fraudulent inducement” and could render a contract unenforceable.
There are other ways a contract could be made unenforceable
These are only four examples of the possible ways a contract could be made unenforceable. Ultimately, each breach of contract claim is different, and defenses available in some cases may not be applicable to other cases. Sometimes a breach of contract case can get very complicated very quickly, so it is advisable to seek help from a professional if you feel you need it.