An impossible contract is a
contract which has terms which would be, for whatever reason, impossible to
actually fulfill. An impossible contract would therefore be considered not
legally binding and would likely be rendered null and void under contract law.
An impossible contract might
include a clause in which one of the terms involved flying a plane into outer
space, as an exaggerated example. More often than not, however, an impossible
contract will be deemed impossible and will then be rendered no longer legally
binding after the fact, when the status of factors external to the contract has
changed such that the contract is now impossible.
For example, if someone
agrees to perform a service such as building a product out of a specific and
limited supply of wood, but then that supply of wood is destroyed in some
fashion, then the contract for the production of something using that wood
would be deemed impossible.
Most often, the declaration
that a contract is impossible will be performed by one of the parties in order
to end the contract, and therefore, exempt itself from the terms of that
contract. It is possible, however, that a contract which might otherwise be
deemed impossible would still be upheld by the parties to that contract if they
all agree to continue to hold to the contract. Similarly, it is possible to
design a contract which has a clause in it specifically made to prevent the
disqualification of the contract on the grounds that it is impossible.