What Are the Rules of Consideration?

There are a number of rules of consideration that revolve around legal contractual agreements. Although the rules are not necessarily enumerated, the give-and-take promises made by two parties in a contract must be outlined in writing to be enforced in a court of law. Consideration revolves around something promised to another party in return for a promise from that party, explains National Paralegal College.

Several rules of consideration are common legal and business practice when contracts are signed. Promises must not be in the past and refer to any future actions between the parties. Consideration does not have to be equal or sufficient, but it must be adequate to fulfill the promise. The person who wishes to enforce the contract must fulfill the first promise before the second promise comes to pass.

Common considerations include paying a certain price for a good or service; promising not to sue in return for settling a claim; agreeing to leave a company while earning a severance package; or earning a certain wage while working a specified number of hours. A consideration also means both parties benefit from one another's promise in the contract. When considerations and promises are not followed through, parties can take the matter to civil court.