What is the difference between a void and voidable contract?
What is a Voidable Contract?
There are certain distinctions between such terms.
A contract is that is merely voidable, compared to a contract that is void, can either be disaffirmed and treated as void or it can be ratified and enforced. However, only the innocent party has the ability to affirm and enforce a voidable contract.
Voidable Contracts Examples
Some examples of contracts that are voidable are those that were entered under fraud, mistake, or duress or contracts entered into with minors or persons of unsound mind. Voidable contracts are legally binding on both parties until the innocent party seeks to rescind such contract.
However, if the innocent party ratifies a voidable contract and accepts its benefits, then the innocent party confirms the enforceability of the contract and cannot later try to disaffirm the contract.
Enforecement of Void Contracts
A contract that is void cannot be enforced by either party, has no legal effect, and can be disregarded entirely without any action by the innocent party.
That is because a void contract is void from the start. Therefore, the innocent party cannot validate or ratify such a contract.
Void Contracts Examples
Some examples of contracts that are void are contracts with a minor for the sale of real property, contracts with discriminatory covenants, such as restrictive covenants based on race, creed, or color, and contracts with subject matters that are barred by statute or call for a party to commit a crime.
If a contract is void, the guilty party cannot recover any value for the services rendered pursuant to the void contract under the theory of quantum meruit.
Moreover, a court may permit the “less guilty” party to recover the consideration already given under the void agreement. Even though this may result in possible injustice between the parties, the purpose of this rule is to deter future illegal conduct.