A contract is a written agreement between two or more parties and is designed to show a legal meeting of the minds. Contracts are used for a wide variety of purposes, which may include hiring an individual or company to perform work or agreeing to pay a certain amount of money for debts. While a signed and dated contract is legally binding, and cannot be simply broken, you may be able to void one by following several steps.
Talk With the Other Party
Discuss with the other party the reasons why you wish to void the contract. Prior to talking, create a document explaining in detail the reasons why you wish to void the contract and provide a copy of the document to the other party. Propose two different methods for voiding the contract to show you wish to avoid causing difficulties or distress to the other party.
If the party agrees to void the contract, create a void-contract document, which states the void date. Have both parties sign the void-contract document.
Prove That You Signed Under Duress
If you were forced to sign a contract against your will, this is known as duress signing, something difficult to prove in court. The American Bar Association states that signing a contract under duress may also be defined as being forced to sign due to no other practical choice, which may be termed economic duress. If you wish to void a contract due to duress, contact a lawyer and provide him with evidence supporting your duress claim.
The American Bar Association advises that a claim regarding signing a contract under duress must be made quickly because court systems rarely rule in your favor if a substantial amount of time has passed since the contract signing.
Prove That There Was Fraud
Contract fraud involves one signer being misled by the other party. Because one party expects a different result from the contract, there is no meeting of the minds, which justifies voiding of the contract. In order to void a contract for fraud, the signer must prove he signed the contract under false pretenses. For example, if a person purchases a vehicle through a contract indicating a 50,000 mile odometer reading, then learns that the mileage is much higher, the contract may be voided for fraud.
The American Bar Association states that fraud exists when any statements within a contract are substantially different from the truth. Contact a lawyer if you believe you signed a contract under fraudulent pretenses and show evidence to prove your case.
Show a Change in Circumstances
A contract can be voided due to a change in circumstances that makes performing the duties outlined in the contract impossible. This is known as an impossibility of performance and removes responsibility from both parties to fulfill the contract. For example, if you hired an auto painter to paint your vehicle and are then involved in an auto accident rendering the vehicle totaled, the vehicle is unavailable for the paint job, making the contract impossible to fulfill.
This article was written by Legal Beagle staff. If you have any questions, please reach out to us on our contact us page.