Think another party is failing to fulfill agreed-upon terms? We outline your next steps
When you hear the words “breach of contract,” it generally doesn’t evoke anything good. It’s a legal term that is used to describe when a contract or an agreement is violated, likely due to one or more parties failing to fulfill specific items of the agreed-upon terms. This can take shape as interfering with another party’s ability to fulfill the provisions within a contract, and it can be breached in total or partially.
When a breach of contract occurs, it can generally happen in three specific ways: material breach, partial breach and an anticipatory breach. In a material breach situation, it’s significant enough to excuse a wronged party from fulfilling their responsibility, while a partial breach is not quite as significant and does not excuse a wronged party from fulfilling a contract’s terms. An anticipatory breach, on the other hand, is a bit more difficult to prove in court because it entails a person suspecting another party intends not to complete the agreed-upon terms.
Meeting General Requirements
If you believe that you are experiencing a breach of contract, it’s important to note that there are a few general requirements that must be met before a contract suit will be upheld in court. A brief description is listed below:
- A valid contract. This may seem like a no-brainer, but in order for a contract to be valid, it must contain all essential contract elements by law. If one or more of these requirements are not met, there cannot be a lawsuit.
- A proven breach. The party who is suing for the breach of contract must be able to show that a defendant did, in fact, breach the terms of the agreement.
- Proof that you held up your end of the contract. You also must demonstrate that you have done everything required of you in the agreement.
- Notification of the individual in breach. Before moving forward with a lawsuit, you will need to notify the person in breach—preferably in writing—that they are not holding up their end of the agreement.
Your Contract is Breached: Now What?
Law is highly complex and intricate, so if you think your contract has been breached in some way, it is important to get professional help from an experienced attorney. In instances like these where tiny details of a case can make a big difference, you will need to get help from a lawyer who can tell you if a strong case can be made in court. This will prevent you from spending time and money initiating a lawsuit on your own, as a simple error or minor oversight could make or break the outcome. Seeking professional help also means that you can help establish a solid defense.
If you believe your contract has been breached, or have been accused of breaching a contract, consult the experienced general litigation attorneys at ALA for help with this process.