Contracts may also be discharged or terminated when any of the following occurs:

  • Partial performance of the terms, along with a written acceptance by the other party
  • Substantial performance in which one party has substantially performed on the contract but does not complete all the details exactly as the contract requires. Such performance may be enough to force payment, with certain adjustments for any damages suffered by the other party. For instance, if a newly constructed addition to a home were finished except for polishing the brass doorknobs, the contractor would be entitled to the final payment.
  • Impossibility of performance in which an act required by the contract cannot be legally accomplished.
  • Mutual agreement of the parties to cancel.
  • Operation of Law – such as in the voiding of a contract by a minor, or as a result of fraud, due to the expiration of the statute of limitations, or because a contract was altered without the written consent of all parties involved.
  • Rescission – one party may cancel or terminate the contract as if it had never been made.
  • Cancellation terminated a contract without a return to the original position. Rescission, however, returns the parties to their original positions before the contract, so any monies that have been exchanged must be returned. Rescission is normally a contractual remedy for a breach, but a contract may also be rescinded by the mutual agreement of the parties.
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