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FINDLAW LEGAL DICTIONARY

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Obligation

obligation n

1 : a promise, acknowledgment, or agreement (as a contract) that binds one to a specific performance (as payment)
;also
: the binding power of such an agreement or indication [held that the amendment did not unconstitutionally impair the s of contracts "Davis v. American Family Mut. Ins. Co. , 521 N.W.2d 366 (1994)"]
2 : a debt security (as a corporate or government bond) see also collateralized mortgage obligation
3 : what one is obligated to do, satisfy, or fulfill: as
a : a commitment to pay a particular amount of money [does not create a debt, liability, or other , legal or moral "State v. Florida Dev. Fin. Corp. , 650 So. 2d 14 (1995)"]
;also
: an amount owed in such a commitment
b : a duty arising from law, contract, or morality [had a legal as an employer] [a contractual ]
4 in the civil law of Louisiana
: a relationship that binds one party to a performance (as a payment or transfer) or nonperformance for another party see also contract , offense , quasi-offense NOTE: An obligation under civil law may arise by operation of law, naturally, or by contract or other declaration of will. The elements of an obligation are: the parties, an object, the relationship by virtue of which one party is bound to perform for the other's benefit, and, in the case of conventional obligations, a cause.

conditional obligation
: an obligation that is dependent on an uncertain event

conventional obligation
: an obligation taking the form of a contract

heritable obligation
: an obligation that may be enforced by the successor of the obligee or against the successor of the obligor

joint obligation
1 : an obligation binding different obligors to a performance for one obligee
2 : an obligation binding one obligor to a performance for different obligees NOTE: In civil law, one of two or more obligors in a joint obligation is only liable for his or her portion of the performance.

natural obligation
: an obligation arising from moral duty that is implied but not enforceable by the law

several obligation
1 : any of the obligations binding different obligors to separate performances for one obligee
2 : any of the obligations binding an obligor to separate performances for different obligees

solidary obligation
: an obligation under which any of two or more obligors can be held liable for the entire performance (as payment of a debt) NOTE: Solidary obligation is similar to joint and several liability in common law.



Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.