How To Invalidate a Contract

Here’s the thing: you should always read a contract carefully before signing it. That even applies to contracts with people you know or love. 

Not all contracts are legally enforceable. There are some instances in which a contract can be invalidated. “A void contract is a formal agreement that is illegitimate and unenforceable from the moment it is created.” An invalid contract can compromise everyone involved. When important work is on the line, an invalid contract can mean that you are entitled to receive none of the benefits agreed upon.

A contract is voidable when the terms involve illegal actions or behaviors. A contract is invalid if it involves manufacturing, selling, or distributing illegal goods; illegal services; or illegal hiring.

A contract is voidable if one of the parties is incapable of understanding the terms or consequences of the terms, due to mental incapacitation or physical impairment. 

A contract is voidable if one of the parties signed the contract under the influence of coercion or manipulation. Under duress, a person is effectively incapable of acting as a free agent by being unlawfully restricted by the other party. Physical duress involves hurting or injuring someone to force them to act against their individual will. An example of economic duress is threatening to cause bodily injury or property damage to someone if they do not agree and sign the contract.

It is unlawful for parties to be compelled to enter into a contract through intimidation, as they have entered into an agreement without voluntary consent. It is unlawful for anyone to be put into the position of being under duress because they have been rendered into a state of mind in which they are not acting voluntarily due to the belief that they have no option other than to oblige. 

A contract can be invalidated if parties entered into it without valid consideration, as described here. A legally binding agreement must include clear terms of what each party promises to either do or not do. If either party has changed their position without there being valid consideration, the contract may not be valid. 

A contract is voidable if it restricts certain freedoms, rights, or legally protected public policies. A contract is unconscionable if it excessively benefits one party while exploiting or oppressing the other party. Courts may intervene in contracts where terms violate statutory rights or impose impossible or cruel conditions. 

“It may be apparent from the intrinsic nature and subject of the bargain itself; such as no man in his senses and not under delusion would make on the one hand, and as no honest and fair man would accept on the other”


Contracts and contract enforceability are one of the best features of civilization in the United States. Without a robust legal system for justice, business activities would be slow and turbulent. Efficient contract enforcement is critical to economic growth. There are also state and federal laws that protect parties where contracts should not be enforced.

If you have any questions about contract disputes, you can call the business attorney of Villasenor Law Offices today.

Villasenor Law Offices
12396 World Trade Dr Suite 211, San Diego, CA 92128