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What Is A Breach Of Contract?

When two individuals or businesses enter into a contract, it can be for many different functions. For instance, a contract can be an agreement to provide services, purchase goods, or deliver goods. When one party fails to live up to the terms of the contract, however, a breach of the contract may have occurred. When this happens, the non-breaching party may be entitled to compensation, specific performance of the contract, or other relief due to the breach of contract, depending on the circumstances.

Non-Material Breach of Contract

Some breaches of a contract are not material, meaning that they are not important to the carrying out of the parties’ agreement. A non-material breach of contract might be an act of one party that violates a minor detail of the contract, but that does not prevent the parties from carrying out the contract.

For example, suppose that Party A agreed to finish repairing Party B’s porch for a fee, with completion and payment to occur no later than July 31st. Despite the contract terms, Party A did not actually complete the repair job until August 1st,  and Party B did not provide payment to Party A until August 1st.

The fact that the parties did not live up to their responsibilities until one day later than the contract contemplated is probably only a non-material breach of contract. Party A still completed the repair job in a relatively timely fashion, for which Party B paid Party A, and Party B still has a porch that has been repaired. Since each party still completes their duties under the contract (Party A to repair the porch and Party B to pay for the repairs), then the main substance of the contract has been satisfied.

Material Breach of Contract

A party to a contract typically would not file a lawsuit over a contract breach unless it was a “material” breach of the contract. In order for a material breach of a contract to occur, the breach must go to the very heart of the contract. As a result of a material breach, the non-breaching party does not receive the benefit that was promised in the contract. A material breach results in unfairness to the non-breaching party and defeats the entire purpose behind the contract.

 A Breach of Contract Lawyer Has the Advice That You Need

A contract between an individual and a business can become very problematic if one party or the other breaches the contract. When this situation occurs, you need to know what you can do in order to remedy the dispute. Only legal advice and representation from an experienced breach of contract lawyer can help you to reach the desired resolution in your case. If you are having legal issues in your business, contact a seasoned attorney, like a Des Moines, IA breach of contract lawyer from the Law Group of Iowa.