When it comes to agreements and contracts, it’s essential to know whether they are considered legally binding. While written contracts are generally the norm, verbal agreements are also common. However, the question remains, are verbal contracts binding in Missouri?
In Missouri, verbal contracts are binding and enforceable in court under certain circumstances. There are two types of contracts: express and implied. Express contracts are those where the terms are explicitly stated, either in writing or verbally. On the other hand, implied contracts are those where the terms are not explicitly stated, but implied through actions or conduct.
To enforce a verbal contract in Missouri, the following elements must be present:
1. Agreement: The parties must have a mutual understanding of the agreement and its terms.
2. Consideration: The contract must involve some form of exchange, whether it be money, services, or goods.
3. Competence: Both parties must be of legal age and have the mental capacity to understand the terms of the agreement.
4. Object: The object of the contract must be legal and not against public policy.
5. Performance: The parties must have fulfilled their obligations under the contract.
If all these elements are present, a verbal contract may be binding and enforceable in court. However, it`s crucial to note that proving the existence of a verbal contract can be challenging. Unlike written contracts, which have physical evidence, verbal agreements rely on the memory and testimony of the parties involved. Thus, it`s essential to document the terms of a verbal agreement through emails, texts, or recordings as proof of the agreement`s existence.
In some situations, Missouri law requires written contracts for certain transactions, such as real estate, marriage, and contracts lasting more than a year. In these cases, a verbal agreement is not legally binding, and a written contract must be used instead.
In conclusion, while verbal contracts are binding in Missouri, it`s vital to understand the legal requirements that must be met to enforce them. It`s always best to have a written contract when possible and to document any verbal agreements to ensure their enforceability and protect all parties involved.