Verbal Agreement After Written Contract: Is It Legal?
Contracts are essential in any business or personal relationship. They ensure that all parties involved in a transaction are on the same page and understand their responsibilities. Contracts are often written documents that outline the terms and conditions of an agreement. However, what happens when two parties verbally agree on something after they have already signed a written contract? Is this legal? Let`s find out.
Understanding the Written Contract
Before we delve into the legality of a verbal agreement after a written contract, it`s important to understand the written contract. A written contract is a legally binding agreement between two or more parties. It outlines the terms and conditions of their agreement, including obligations and responsibilities of each party, the duration of the agreement, payment terms, and any other relevant information. Once all the parties involved sign the contract, it becomes binding and enforceable by law.
Verbal Agreement After Written Contract
In some cases, after parties have signed a written contract, one of them may want to change a particular aspect of the agreement. For instance, an employer may want to increase an employee`s salary after they have signed the employment contract, or a tenant may want to extend the lease agreement after they have signed the lease document. If both parties agree to the changes verbally, a verbal agreement is formed.
Is a Verbal Agreement After Written Contract Legal?
The answer to this question is not straightforward. In some situations, a verbal agreement after a written contract is legal, while in others, it is not. Here are some factors to consider:
1. Integration Clause
An integration clause is a provision in a contract that states that the written agreement contains the entire agreement between the parties and supersedes any prior or contemporaneous agreements. If the written contract has an integration clause, any verbal agreement that contradicts it is not enforceable.
2. Parol Evidence Rule
The parol evidence rule is a legal principle that states that when parties have a written contract, any prior or contemporaneous oral agreements cannot be used to contradict or change the written agreement. This ensures that all terms and conditions of the agreement are contained in the written contract and not in any oral agreements.
3. Statute of Frauds
The statute of frauds is a law that requires certain types of contracts to be in writing to be enforceable. For example, contracts for the sale of land, contracts that can`t be completed within one year, and contracts for the sale of goods worth over a certain amount must be in writing. If parties have a written contract, any verbal agreement that falls under the statute of frauds is not enforceable.
In summary, a verbal agreement after a written contract may or may not be legal depending on various factors. It`s always best to seek legal advice before entering into any verbal agreements after a written contract. It`s also important to ensure that your written contract includes an integration clause and covers all the terms and conditions of your agreement to avoid any misunderstandings or disputes in the future.
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