Grounds for invalidating a contract
In the past, all contracts were required to be under seal in order to be valid, but the seal has lost some or all of its effect by statute in many jurisdictions.Recognition by the courts of informal contracts, such as implied contracts, has also diminished the importance and employment of formal contracts under seal.Postnuptial agreements only came to be widely accepted in the United States in the latter half of the 20th century. The inability of a husband and wife to contract with one another was due to the concept of marital unity: at the time of marriage, husband and wife become a single entity or person. courts began to reject marital unity as a legal theory, postnuptial agreements were rejected as being seen to encourage divorce.Since one may not enter into a contract with one's self, a postnuptial agreement would thus be invalid. It was only in the 1970s that postnuptial agreements started to gain broad acceptance in the United States.An implied contract depends on substance for its existence; therefore, for an implied contract to arise, there must be some act or conduct of a party, in order for them to be bound.A contract implied in fact is not expressed by the parties but, rather, suggested from facts and circumstances that indicate a mutual intention to contract.The seal represented that the parties intended the agreement to entail legal consequences.
A contract, once formed, does not contemplate a right of a party to reject it.
The reason for this is the legal theory that prior to marriage, neither spouse has any legal rights, so a spouse is not giving anything up by signing a prenuptial agreement.
As with prenuptial agreements, a court has the discretion to reject the terms of a post-nuptial agreements, for example if the court finds that its terms are insufficient to meet the financial needs of partners and children. jurisprudence followed the notion that contracts, such as a postnuptial agreements, could not be valid when executed between a husband and wife.
The purpose of a contract is to establish the agreement that the parties have made and to fix their rights and duties in accordance with that agreement.
The courts must enforce a valid contract as it is made, unless there are grounds that bar its enforcement.