Writing for the Encyclopedia:
Classification of Obligations:
- Natural obligation – A Natural obligation arises from circumstances in which the law implies a particular moral duty to render a performance. It may not be enforced by judicial action; however, whatever has been freely performed in compliance with a natural obligation may not be reclaimed, and a contract made for the performance of a natural obligation is ONEROUS. (See CONVENTIONAL OBLIGATION; REPETITION.) An example of a natural obligation is an obligation that has been extinguished by PRESCRIPTION or discharged in bankruptcy. Similar to moral consideration.
- Real obligation – A real obligation is a duty correlative and incidental to a REAL RIGHT.
- Heritable and Strictly personal obligation – An obligation is heritable when its performance may be enforced by a successor of the obligee or against a successor of the obligor. An obligation is strictly personal when its performance can be enforced only by the obligee, or only against the obligor.
- Conditional obligation – A conditional obligation is one dependent on an uncertain event. See Resolutory and Suspensive conditions .
- Several, Joint, and Solidary obligations – When there are multiple obligees and/or obligors, the obligation may be several, joint, or solidary. When each of different obligors owes a separate performance to one obligee, the obligation is several. When different obligors owe together just one performance to one obligee, but neither is bound for the whole, the obligation is joint for the obligors. An obligation is solidary for each of the obligees when it gives each obligee the right to demand the whole performance from the common obligor.84 See SOLIDARY LIABILITY; VIRILE SHARE OR PORTION.
- Conjunctive and Alternative obligations – An obligation is conjunctive when it binds the obligor to multiple items of performance that may be separately rendered or enforced, in which case each item is the object of a separate obligation. An obligation is alternative when an obligor is bound to render only one of two or more items of performance.
- Divisible and Indivisible obligations – An obligation is divisible when the object of the performance is susceptible of division. An obligation is indivisible when the object of the performance, because of its nature or because of the intent of the parties, is not susceptible of division. Courts have occasionally confused divisible with conjunctive obligations, and “divisible or indivisible obligations” with the Common law ‘s “entire or severable contracts.”
References and Further Reading
About the Author/s and Reviewer/s
Mentioned in these Entries
Common law, Divisible and Indivisible obligations, Law Classification, Law Classification, Historical, Natural obligation, Resolutory and Suspensive conditions, Rights and the Law Classification, Historical, Several, Joint, and Solidary obligations.
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This entry was last modified: July 22, 2012