Texas contract law impacts you everyday, whether you realize it or not. If you are a business owner, this is a particularly sensitive area. Your company could have what appears to be a simple contract with a vendor – or a multi-million dollar contract with your largest client. Despite all that interaction, contracts might be a mystery to you.
We’re going to look at five frequently asked questions about Texas contract law. The answers could help you understand how these common yet important legal documents work, but contact us if you need further assistance.
#1. What is a breach of contract?
When two parties agree to “mutual obligations enforceable by law,” they often put details of their agreement in a written contract. Then, all parties to the contract are expected to abide by the contract’s provisions. Breach of contract occurs when one or more parties fail to do so.
A breach of contract claim requires the plaintiff to prove:
· a valid contract existed,
· the plaintiff performed as expected,
· the defendant did not do what it agreed to do, and
· the plaintiff was harmed because the defendant breached their contract.
Contract law is complex. It can be challenging to understand whether a breach of contract claim is appropriate or not.
#2. Does Texas recognize oral contracts?
An oral or verbal contract can be formed when two or more parties:
· Make an offer,
· Accept the offer,
· Accept financial consideration.
Texas law does recognize some oral contracts.
#3. Do some Texas contracts have to be in writing?
Yes. Under Texas contract law, the following agreements should be in writing:
· Sale of real property,
· Marriage or cohabitation agreements, and
· Real estate leases with terms of more than one year.
We can’t cover all the scenarios involving verbal contracts and written contracts in this article. However, we encourage you to discuss contracts with a lawyer before signing or verbally agreeing to anything.
#4. What elements are needed in a valid Texas contract?
People sometimes use do-it-yourself contracts to formalize an agreement. But contracts drawn up without legal advice can be unenforceable, which means that one or both parties cannot be compelled to comply.
The following elements are required under Texas contract law and case law:
· Offer. Jack offers to provide widgets to Jill’s company.
· Acceptance. Jill accepts Jack’s offer. Jack accepts Jill’s terms.
· Consideration. Jill agrees to pay Jack a certain amount for his widgets. However, consideration is not always financial. Jill could have agreed to promote Jack’s company in exchange for his widgets.
· Mutual assent. Jack and Jill both agreed to the terms in the contract.
· Execution of the contract. Both parties here signed the contract with the intent to be bound by its provisions.
Other considerations apply. All parties to the contract must be capable of agreeing to the contract. This element could involve the parties’ mental capacity to understand what they are signing or their age. Also, the contract’s purpose must be legal. A contract where parties agree to something illegal, like robbing a bank, is not enforceable.
#5. Do I have three days to cancel a Texas contract?
Yes, but only in certain situations. Not every contract can be canceled within three days. A shortlist of contracts that could be rescinded within three days includes:
· Door-to-door sales
· Sales made somewhere other than the seller’s regular place of business
· Goods or services bought with a credit card from a phone solicitor
· Retail installment contracts, excluding vehicles
This list is by no means complete. If you regret signing a contract, we urge you to immediately discuss your case with an experienced attorney.
Texas Contract Law Is Complex
The attorneys at Henke, Williams & Boll assist clients like you with litigation and other matters. But we don’t just help a little. We win cases through aggressive representation using extensive knowledge of the Texas legal system.
For a free consultation or phone appointment, call 713-940-4500 or use the convenient contact form located on our website. [link to website]. We represent clients in the Houston area, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Waller County, Fort Bend County, Galveston County, and Brazoria County.