The Difference Between a Void Agreement & a Voidable Contract

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The Difference Between a Void Agreement & a Voidable Contract
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Contract law is complex and can be confusing. Void agreements or contracts and voidable contracts are similar enough in name to be almost indistinguishable, but legally significant differences exist between the two.

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Void Agreements or Contracts

A void agreement, or void contract, is a contract that is not truly a contract. It may have been made under duress as an agreement to commit an illegal action or as a contract to perform an impossible duty.

Voidable Cotract

Voidable contracts are contracts that are legally valid agreements between two parties; however, they can be voided or nullified by one of the parties. Voidable contracts most frequently involve contracts made with minors, who are not bound to fulfil the contract in most states.

Legal Differences

A void contract is a nonexistent and illegal contract that cannot be upheld by law; neither party is bound to complete the contract and can be prosecuted if any completed actions are illegal. Voidable contracts are legal and binding to at least one party, which must fulfil his portion of the contract.

Significance

Void contracts may be a cause for lawsuits or jail time depending on the context of the agreement and whether or not action was taken. Voidable contracts can be detrimental to the bound party unless the contract is nullified by the individual who is not bound by the contract.

Considerations

Knowing the basics of contract law can help an individual recognise a situation where a contract may be void or voidable. Understand the difference between those types of contracts before engaging in legal agreements.

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