The courts can become involved in enforcing contracts in the event there is a dispute between the parties in a contract. The courts may establish that a contract is enforceable, voidable, unenforceable, or void. The court may also rule that a quasi-contract is in effect. Enforceable contracts, voidable contracts, and unenforceable contracts are all considered examples of valid contracts.
When issuing a judgment, a court may declare a contract void or valid, and may declare the ruling to apply to the contract as a whole or to just a part of the contract. If only a portion is declared void, and the remainder of the contract can still be considered valid, the contract will remain in effect.
If the court rules that the contract is enforceable, it means that the two parties are bound by the terms of the contract to which they had previously agreed. An enforceable contract is a category of a valid contract. Enforceable contracts compel action on behalf of both parties.
A voidable contract is a specific category of enforceable contract. A voidable contract exists when one or both of the parties has the ability to release itself from the contract without a finding of fault. A voidable clause can be specifically inserted during the drafting of a contract by either party.
Any contract involving a minor is automatically considered a voidable contract. A minor may terminate the contract within two year of reaching the age of majority. In a voidable contract only the party with the right to void the contract may file suit for breach of contract.
An unenforceable is a valid contract which a legal body cannot compel one or both of the parties to fulfill the terms of because there is a statute or public policy with which the contract is in conflict.
A void contract is an oxymoron. A contract that is void is a contract which could not exist in the first place. A contract may be declared void by the courts in several circumstances. If one of the parties has been adjudicated to be incompetent, the contract may be declared void. A contract undertaken to commit an illegal act will be declared void as well.
Quasi-contracts are instances where two parties never specifically entered into a contract for the service in question, but a law creates an obligation for one party to provide compensation to another for services rendered.