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Oral Contracts in the Commonwealth of Virginia

An oral contract is a spoken agreement between two or more individuals that includes an offer, an acceptance, and consideration represented by the exchange of money, property, or the promise to do something or refrain from doing something. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, oral contracts are enforceable unless they conflict with the Virginia Statue of Frauds. Oral contracts are valid, lawfully-binding contracts, but they can be difficult to prove- especially when there is a dispute. Any and all documentation related to an oral contract must be preserved to have some tangible evidence of the contract existing. Even something as simple as a sticky note stating a monetary transaction or meeting related to the agreement can provide tangible evidence.

Oral contracts are not binding if they fall under any of the circumstances listed in the Virginia Statute of Frauds (the agreements listed in the Statute of Frauds must be in writing and signed to be lawfully binding). Some of the exceptions to an otherwise valid oral agreement are as follows:Oral Contracts in the Commonwealth of Virginia

  1. A contract for sale of real estate
  2. A lease of real estate for a term longer than one year
  3. An agreement that cannot be fulfilled within one year of making the agreement
  4. Ratification of a contract by a minor reaching age 18
  5. A promise by an executor to pay out of their own estate any debt or damage due from of the decedent
  6. A promise by one person to be responsible for the debt of another person
  7. An agreement made on consideration of marriage or on consideration of non-marital co-living


When in doubt, write down an agreement or contract so that it is easier to be upheld in court. If you have any questions or concerns about a verbal or oral contract, please contact us at Layman & Nichols, P.C.

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