A voidable agreement is an agreement that may be canceled or annulled by one or both parties, due to some legal defect that existed at the time the contract was made. In such an agreement, one party has the option to enforce or void the contract, while the other party is obligated to perform if the contract is enforced. Voidable contracts can be voided in different ways depending on the circumstances surrounding the agreement.
Here are some of the ways voidable agreements can be voided:
1. Rescission – This is a legal remedy that involves canceling a contract and returning both parties to their original positions before the contract was made. Rescission can be initiated by either party, and it is commonly used when there was fraud, misrepresentation, duress, or undue influence in the agreement.
2. Ratification – This is a process by which a party voluntarily confirms or agrees to a voidable agreement, thereby making it binding and enforceable. Ratification can be explicit or implicit, and it usually occurs after the party who has the power to void the agreement has discovered the defect but decides to proceed with the deal anyway.
3. Avoidance – This involves asserting a legal defense that renders the contract void, such as illegality, incapacity, mistake, or unconscionability. Avoidance can be raised as a defense in a legal proceeding, and it typically results in the contract being invalidated and unenforceable.
4. Lapse of time – Sometimes, voidable contracts can be voided simply by the passage of time. For instance, if a party who has the power to void the contract does not exercise that power within a specified period, the contract may become binding and enforceable.
5. Estoppel – This is a doctrine that prevents a party from denying the validity of a contract, based on that party`s conduct or representations. For example, if a party who has the power to void the contract tells the other party that they will not void the agreement, and the other party relies on that representation to their detriment, the voidable agreement may be enforceable under the doctrine of estoppel.
In conclusion, voidable agreements can be voided in various ways depending on the circumstances surrounding the agreement. It is essential to understand these different options to determine the most appropriate way to void an agreement. As always, it is advisable to seek legal advice before taking any action to void a contract.