There are certain defenses individuals can apply if they are in violation of breaching a contract. It is key to understand the defenses available. They can prevent parties from being wrongfully sued or having other penalties apply. Some forms of defense include pointing out performance while others may reveal parties that take advantage of forming a contract under misleading circumstances.
All individuals who participate in forming a contract need to be aware and understand its terms, this is known as capacity. All parties need to have the same idea of capacity when a contract is drawn. While most adults have a capacity to understand, any person under intoxication as well as minors and those with mental incompetence have a disadvantage of understanding the terms of a contract. Most states consider individuals under the age of 18 as minors. It is understood that minors may have a lack of capacity to fully understand the terms and conditions within a contract.
Courts see and contract containing a minor as voidable, and give minors the right to cancel the contract anytime before they are considered legal by the standards of the law. Although minors are not held responsible for complying to a contract, if they cancel a contract all benefits received has to be returned. Contracts are also voidable for individuals who suffer mental incompetence.
It is understood that a person of mental incompetence lacks the natural capability to fully understand a contracts terms and conditions. In civil court a person who is mentally incompetent cannot legally enter a binding contract. If a person is deemed mentally incompetent the contract can be completely voided since the obvious defect within a contract exists.
Individuals also have the right to defend their affiliation to a contract if they were under intoxication at the time a contract was drawn. When a person is intoxicated they are incapable of understanding the terms of a contract, so although they may agree under intoxication they are not fully aware to what they are agreeing to. If a individual can prove that a contract was drawn under intoxication the court will void the contract.
Other than individuals proving ineligible capacity by being a minor, mentally incompetent, or under intoxication; there are other common defenses to a valid contract. If a party feels pressured to enter a contract by force or coaxing by another party, they can fight the terms of the contract since it essential violates the free will to participate.
Other parties that enter a contract also have the right to defend the contract, if any individual violates the good faith that all members of a contract agree to initially. Some individuals can defend a contract do to circumstances that may arise out of their control, known as impossibility of performance.
Normally when individuals form a contract it is made under the assumption that all parties will hold up to their agreement. Breaching a contract can send individuals through troublesome legal matters that no one knowingly wants to be a part of. Defending a valid contract can stem from someone’s lack of capacity to fully understand a contracts terms and conditions.
Any individual who is a minor, mentally incompetent or under intoxication has the right to have the terms of their contract dismissed. Other defenses to a valid contract exist for individuals that sincerely cannot keep their end of the bargain for situations that arise out of their control.