Express terms contract law applies when two parties make direct statements about their obligations to one another. It is an important part of contract law, although it can have complex interplay with certain types of implied contracts.

What is a Contract Term?

Contract terms include all provisions that are part of a contract. Each contract term constitutes an obligation between the two contracted parties. Breach of a contract term may lead to litigation. All terms of a contract may not be expressly stated. Some terms hold less legal weight because they are not central to the purpose of the contract. ;

Express And Implied Contracts

An express contract is a term that is directly acknowledged and stated by both parties. They consist of the direct promises made by either party to the other, and they are binding. Express contracts can be written or verbal. Either way, they must be understandable by both parties. They should include valuable consideration for both parties, meaning something of value should be distributed to each party. Unconditional acceptance of an offer is necessary for a contract to become legally binding.

In general, the contract must reflect both parties' interests and intentions in order for it to be binding. If an express contract is made regarding a subject, it will generally be upheld over any implied contracts that are present in the legal code. Implied contracts can also arise from the situation and facts of any business interaction. These do not need to be stated in writing. Contracts can also be created through certain actions, and the law does not treat these any differently than a written, signed contract. For implied contracts of fact, a court would assess the business' intentions based on their dealings with the other party.

Contracts implied in fact are treated much like express contracts. There are a few differences in how courts treat contracts implied by law. This type of contract is referred to as a quasi-contract. They apply when the parties did not have any elements of an express contract between them and a legal dispute arises. These standards are meant to keep one party from unfairly benefiting from another party's mistake.

As an example, imagine that a set of parents ask a third party to hold $10,000 in trust for their child. But instead of doing so, the third party tries to keep the money. The law protects the parents in this case. It does not allow the third party to keep the money just because there was no formal contract in place. These parties have an implied contract by law, and the third party must fulfill the obligation to distribute the money to the child.

Courts are careful about applying these laws. They do not wish to overstep their bounds and impose contracts that were not agreed upon by either party. However, contracts implied by law are usually imposed when one of the following is true:

  • The plaintiff has lost a significant amount of money to the defendant
  • The court believes the defendant was enriched unjustly by the transaction
  • The plaintiff has not taken any action that would nullify a contract

The court will consider any special circumstances to decide whether it is reasonable for them to intervene between the two parties.

Importance And Impact Of Broken Terms

To understand the relative importance of a term, one must examine the purpose of the contract. When the contract has been put in writing, most important terms should already be listed in the contract. Each party is obligated to abide by the contract once they have signed it. This is true whether or not they have read and understood the contract.

Terms May Be Conditions or Warranties

Contracts include many types of terms. Some are important, and some are not; terms can be verbal or written. Important terms are usually labeled as conditions. Less important terms are often called warranties. Conditions are a backbone of a good contract; without them, the contract is unlikely to be signed by both parties. Violation of conditions is a serious offense, and a party can consider the contract voided if another party breaches a condition.

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