What is a 'Waiver'

A waiver is the voluntary action of a person or party that removes that person's or party's right or particular ability in an agreement. The waiver can either be in written form or some form of action. A waiver essentially removes a real or potential liability for the other party in the agreement.

BREAKING DOWN 'Waiver'

A waiver is a written demonstration of a party’s intent to relinquish a legal right or claim. The relinquishment is voluntary, and can apply to a variety of legal situations.

For example, in a settlement between two parties, one party might, by means of a waiver, relinquish its right to pursue any further legal action once the settlement is finalized.

A waiver carried out by an action might be based on whether a party in an agreement acts on a right, such as the right to terminate the deal in the first year of the contract. If it does not terminate the deal before the first year, that party waives its right to do so in the future.

Waiving of Parental Rights

In cases involving the custody of a child, a biological parent may choose to waive his legal rights as a parent, making him ineligible to make determinations regarding the child's upbringing. This also allows a guardian who is not a biological parent to attempt to assert his right over a child through actions such as adoption.

Waivers of Liability

Before participating in an activity that could lead to injury or death, a person may be required to sign a waiver as a form of expressed consent to the risks that exist due to the inherent nature of the activity. This waiver would release the company facilitating the activity from liability should the participant be injured or killed during his participation. Such waivers may be used prior to participating in extreme sports, such as BMX racing, or other activities, such as sky diving.

Waivers and Tangible Goods

In the case of most tangible goods or personal property, a person may waive the right to continue to make a claim on the item. This can apply to goods that are sold to a new buyer or donated to a particular entity. A transfer of vehicle ownership functions as a waiver of any claim to the item by the seller, and it gives the right to the buyer as the new owner.

Waiver for Grounds of Inadmissibility

If a person who is not a citizen of the United States wishes to gain entry, he may be required to complete Form I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility. This waiver seeks to change the status of the person seeking entry, allowing him the ability to enter the United States legally.

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