Legal Memorandum: A valid and enforceable contract must have an offer, acceptance and consideration

Issue: Under Illinois law, what are the elements of a valid and enforceable contract?

Area of Law: Contracts
Keywords: ; Contract; Valid; Enforceable; Require; Offer; Acceptance; Consideration; Exchange
Jurisdiction: Illinois
Cited Cases: None
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 03/01/2016

A valid and enforceable contract requires an offer, acceptance and consideration. See Hubble v. O’Connor, 291 Ill.App.3d 974, 979 (1997). Consideration consists of a "’bargained-for exchange of promises or performances and may consist of a promise, an act or a forbearance’" (Carter v. SCC Odin Operating Co., LLC, 2012 IL 113204, ¶ 23 (quoting McInerney v. Charter Golf, Inc., 176 Ill.2d 482, 487 (1997)), which is "’of benefit to one party or disadvantage to the other’" (Carter, 2012 IL 113204, ¶ 23 (quoting Steinberg v. Chicago Medical School, 69 Ill.2d 320, 330 (1977)). See In re Marriage of Tabassum and Younis, 377 Ill.App.3d 761, 770 (2007) ("[a]n act or promise that benefits one party or is a detriment to the other party is consideration sufficient to support a contract"). The values exchanged between the parties need not be equal, and courts generally will not inquire into the adequacy of the consideration provided to support a contract. See Carter, 2012 IL 113204, ¶ 24; accord Rohr Burg Motors, Inc. v. Kulbarsh, 2014 IL App (1st) 131664, ¶ 48 (it is not the function of the court to review the amount of consideration). Rather, as the adequacy of the consideration is within the exclusive domain of the parties to the contract, where a contract is entered into freely and without fraud, courts will presume that the consideration was adequate. See McInnis v. OAG Motorcycle Ventures, Inc., 2015 IL App (1st) 142644, ¶ 27; accord Carter, 2012 IL 113204, ¶ 24. Courts will determine only whether consideration […]

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