How to Break a Verbal Agreement

By Kristyn Hammond
Breaking a verbal agreement requires attention to the nature of the original agreement.

Michael Hitoshi/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Verbal agreements are regular sources of disagreement between individuals. In the absence of a written contract, there are specific clues that detail the nature of an agreement. Courts look for these clues as signs that the agreement exists. While the specifics of these agreements are difficult to ascertain, there are a few specific methods of breaking a verbal agreement. The best prevention is to avoid these sorts of agreements, but it is still important for you to know your rights in case you find yourself locked into one of these.

Review the terms of the agreement, how it was agreed upon and any specifics that you remember. This is the first consideration in regard to the original agreement. Consider any evidence that the original agreement was made. This includes witnesses who were present at the agreement, any exchange of goods or a pattern of activity that signifies that the agreement is legitimate. If there is a record of payments made between the two of you, this can constitute evidence that an agreement was made between the two of you. If no evidence exists regarding the founding of the agreement, the burden of proof will be on them to prove that you entered into the agreement originally.

Look for a consideration. The consideration is the term for an exchange of valuables. If you traded property between yourself and another at the time of an agreement, it represents evidence that an agreement exists. Try to exchange the property back to its original owner, if both parties are willing. This exchange is a sign that the verbal agreement is no longer valid and can forgive you for the remaining debt. The condition of the property is significant. If the property was damaged during the time of the exchange, the other party may be unwilling to make the exchange or may request additional payment to restore the property to its original form.

Review the nature of the original agreement. If you consider the original agreement unfair, you may have grounds to break the agreement. If the property exchanged did not meet the expected standard of quality at the time of the exchange, this is grounds to return the property and break the agreement. If the other party is unwilling, you can have your case reviewed by a court. The determination will be made by the court, but this situation represents the other party not living up to the agreement.

About the Author

Kristyn Hammond has been teaching freshman college composition at the university level since 2010. She has experience teaching developmental writing, freshman composition, and freshman composition and research. She currently resides in Central Texas where she works for a small university in the Texas A&M system of schools.

Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article