breach of contract represented by a woman's hands and a man's hands, both holding pens and hovering over pages filled with fine print

What Is Considered a Breach of Contract?

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Unexpected events and challenges can make it difficult for parties bound by a contract to fulfill their obligations. This can result in a breach of contract. Contracts can be breached in writing or orally. Continue reading to learn more about this topic.


What Is a Breach of Contract?

A breach of contract occurs when either party in the agreement violates one or more of the agreed-upon contractual terms. A contract is legally binding, and the injured party can take the breaching party to court.

In some cases, the agreement itself includes the process of resolving a breach. However, if that is not the case, the parties can take steps to resolve the matter. For example, they could form a new agreement or adjudication. 

What Are the Types of Breach of Contract?

Actual Breach

An actual breach of contract refers to one party’s refusal or failure to fulfill their obligations according to the agreement within the specific time or due date. An actual breach typically occurs when one party fails to complete its duties by the deadline. It can also happen if the party does not fulfill its responsibilities during its performance. The non-defaulting party can choose which legal remedy they want to pursue to recover damages from the breach.

Anticipatory Breach

This breach occurs when one party anticipates that the other party does not intend to fulfill one or more of its contractual obligations. Typically, it is the defaulting party’s actions that determine an anticipatory breach. It is also possible for the defaulting party to notify the other party verbally or in writing that it does not plan to fulfill the terms of the contract. The breaching party is responsible for reimbursing the damages the other party suffers due to the breach.

Minor Breach

A minor breach is not a complete breach of the contract. Instead, the breaching party only fails to fulfill a minor component of the agreement. For example, if two parties entered an agreement specifying that one party would deliver certain goods at a particular time, but that party failed to deliver the goods at that time, they would be committing a minor breach. Generally, the breaching party can resolve a minor breach by compensating for any damages caused by the delay in fulfilling the contractual obligation. 

Material Breach

Breaching a significant part of the contract results in a material breach. For example, with this type of breach, the non-defaulting party can get goods or services different from what the contract stipulates. In material breaches, the non-breaching party does not need to fulfill their end of the contract. Instead, they can seek legal remedies or exercise their right to be have the breaching party compensate them.

Contact a Breach of Contract Attorney for Help

A breach of contract attorney can help you determine what type of breach occurred. They can help you gather evidence to prove your case. Breach of contract attorneys can tell you about the legal remedies available in your case and help you pursue the best course of action.

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