Practical. Principled. Approachable.

Was my contract modified or canceled under California law?

On Behalf of | Sep 30, 2022 | Contract Disputes

California businesses and consumers have goals in mind when they enter into a contractual agreement. It is important to make sure that everyone involved is clear about what they want and what will be provided. Everything should be stipulated specifically in the contract.

Simply because a contract has been completed does not mean that it will remain the same for the duration. In some instances, the agreement needs to be updated or canceled entirely. For all parties, it is imperative to understand what steps must be taken under the law to modify or cancel a contract and ensure it withstands disputes and scrutiny.

Key points about modifying or canceling a contract

Some people enter into an agreement without putting it in writing. If the parties want to modify it in any way, they can do so if both consent by writing a contract with the prior unwritten contract no longer in effect. For example, if a business agrees with a contractor to paint a lobby and has a handshake agreement, they can alter the terms with a written contract to reduce the amount of work or to do more work.

When there is a written contract, it can be modified by another written contract. It can also be modified if the sides come to an oral agreement. The contract can state that it cannot be modified via an oral agreement, but if not, there can be an oral agreement with new benefit to either or both parties. If the entity hired to do some form of work or service is receiving greater compensation, then the contract can be modified orally.

If the sides want to terminate the written or signed contract, they can do so by destroying or canceling it with the intention of ending any obligations from the agreement. Once it is intentionally destroyed or canceled by the party who is set to benefit from it or with their approval, it extinguishes obligations they might have had against those who did not agree to it being terminated. Duplicate copies of the contract mean that both must be altered or destroyed.

Having professional and experienced help with contracts is important to be protected

People might enter into a contract agreement thinking they will be completely shielded in the event of a dispute. However, it is vital to understand the legal nature of contracts and how modifications or cancellations can be done. Just because the sides are seeking to update a contract does not mean the entire agreement will be terminated. In some cases, that is the goal. When there are contract disputes or help is needed in crafting one, it is useful to have comprehensive guidance from qualified professionals.