Duty of Performance (Contract) - Explained
When is a Party to a Contract Relieved of Her Duty to Perform her Obligations?
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Table of ContentsWhen is a party relieved from her obligations under a contract?Discussion QuestionPractice QuestionAcademic Research
When is a party relieved from her obligations under a contract?
Parties to a contract have duties or obligations thereunder. There are generally three options to relieve these obligations:
- Perform - An individual is relieved from her duties under a contract once she has fully or substantially performed those duties. The individual is discharged from the contract.
- Release from Contract - Either party may be released from a contract by the other party. Alternatively, the person may be released if the contract becomes void.
- Breach - Once a party to a contract breaches that contract, she and the other party no longer have duties to perform. If the contract is enforceable, the other party then has the ability to enforce the contract against the other party by seeking damages.
Performance of the contract and release eliminate a persons liability under the contract. Breach exposes the breaching party to damages or losses suffered for the breach. None of these options relieve a party form tort liability if her actions with regard to the contract constitute a tort.
Next Article: Executory and Executed Contracts Back to: CONTRACT LAW
- What is an Executed contract vs an Executory contract?
- What is Performance, Substantial Performance, and Breach of a contract?
- What is performance of a Divisible Contract?
- When is a party's duty of performance discharged?
- What are conditions to Contract (Precedent & Subsequent)?
- What is tender performance of a contract?
- What are Impossibility and Impracticability
- What is a Frustration of Purpose?
- Waiver or Release from Contract
- What is a Breach of Contract?
- Acceleration Clause (Contracts) Definition
- What methods exist for resolving a breach?
- What remedies exist for a breach of contract?
- What is Efficient Breach?
- Aleatory Contract
Should a party pursue the method of relieve her obligation under a contract that is of greatest advantage to her? Why or why not?
Katie and Smith enter into a contract. Each has a duty to perform services for the other. Neither party ever takes action to act on the contract. What is the result?
- Generally, one party to a contract has a duty to begin performance (or tender performance) before the other party has the obligation to perform. In this situation, we are not told who has the initial obligation. In that regard, one party is breach. As such, the other party is relieved from her duty to perform. If the parties had a simultaneous duty to perform, and neither performed, this may evidence a mutual assent to rescind (undo) the contract.