Brief Fact Summary. P sued D for breach of contract and D asserted that because he was not the father of P’s child, his support agreement lacked a valid consideration.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The forbearance from asserting a good faith legal claim constitutes a valid consideration.
To support a compromise it is sufficient that the parties entering into it thought, at the time, there was a bona fide question between them, though it may eventually turn out there was in fact no such question.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Does the forbearance from asserting a good faith legal claim constitute a valid consideration?
Held. Yes. Judgment affirmed
• The surrender of, or forbearance to assert an invalid claim by one who did not have a good faith and reasonable belief in its possible validity is not a sufficient consideration to support a contract.
• However, forbearance to sue for a lawful claim or demand is a sufficient consideration for a promise if the party forbearing had a good faith intention to prosecute litigation which is not frivolous, vexatious, or unlawful, and which she believed to be well founded.
• Here, the court found no proof of fraud or unfairness. P indicated that she made the charge of bastardy against D in good faith.
Discussion. Generally, there is a requirement that a claim be asserted in good faith. Forbearance in asserting a good faith claim constitutes a valid consideration. Note however, there is no discussion of P’s possible bad faith by nondisclosure.