Contractual agreements outline the terms established between two parties. Contracts typically describe what's being exchanged, list the timeframe involved and specify each party's rights and responsibilities.
Unfortunately, not everyone commits accordingly. A breach of contract involves the failure to uphold set obligations, for which there are often legal penalties. But do you know how to make your case?
Three types of contract breaches
Some ways a party might become negligent with their obligations could result in more harm than others. The extent of the other party's lack of adherence will determine how you should proceed.
Contractual issues that make you consider litigation could include:
- An anticipatory breach, where you suspect ill intent regarding the fulfillment of contracted obligations
- A partial breach, which isn't significant enough to take to court, commonly providing resolution through a financial adjustment
- A material breach, which may excuse you from fulfilling your responsibilities
To establish a case, you must convince the court that you had a valid contract. You'd be wise to prepare for the alleged offending party's defenses about your claim.
Why was there a breach of contract?
When you file a lawsuit against another party for their breach of contract, they will have to explain their actions to the court. You might expect them to claim:
- Duress or undue influence, whereby you threatened or used your advantage to force them to sign the contract
- There were mistakes involving both parties, which may invalidate your contract
- You made fraudulent claims or concealed pertinent information when entering into the agreement, and your deliberate fraud was detrimental to them
The court will decide what type of action, if any, is necessary in your case. Possible resolution ranges from stopping detrimental action to assessing financial penalties.
Do everything within your power to mitigate risk from the start. Should problems arise, you have a firm footing on which to protect your interests.