Verbal agreements, or verbal contracts, are considered "common law" contracts and are legally binding in Maryland --- given some specific provisions. While verbal agreements are binding in most cases in Maryland, they can be difficult to uphold in a court of law without witnesses.
For a verbal agreement to be binding in Maryland, it must fulfill three elements. First, both parties must indicate their intent to enter into the contract. Second, the person to whom the contract is being offered must accept the terms of the contract. And third, both sides must exchange something of value. Additionally, a verbal agreement made in Maryland must provide a clear definition of a breach of contract, and offer an appropriate means of restitution.
In Maryland, verbal agreements are as binding as written contracts, with some exceptions pertaining to Maryland's "statute of frauds". According to Maryland's statute of frauds, if more than $500 worth of goods is to be exchanged, the parties must put the details into a written contract, which then must be signed. Verbal agreements in Maryland are also not binding if they govern actions which take longer than one year to complete.
Read More: What to Do If a Verbal Agreement Is Reneged?
Verbal agreements are easily contested, particularly without impartial witnesses. It is best to consult with a legal professional before entering into a verbal agreement in Maryland.
Marysia Walcerz has been writing since 2008. She has been published in several compilations of artistic and philosophical work, including "Gender: Theory in Practice" and "Retold Comics." Walcerz has a Bachelor of Arts in fine arts and philosophy from The Evergreen State College.