A contract in Iowa is an agreement about something of value between two or more parties who intend the agreement to have legal effect. It may be oral or written, as long as all parties agree to the contractual terms. In business transactions, written contracts are usually preferred for their reliability. These documents are best drafted by those who understand the law, because the very reason for a contract is to legally obligate the parties.

Negotiating a Contract in Ottumwa

Along with particular clauses that should be included in every Ottumwa contract for it to be valid, it is important to adequately discuss each term to make sure that the intent of each party is understood by the other. Being upfront about your intentions early on can be helpful, because it allows the terms of the contract to be decided based on clear expectations. Lastly, a clause that determines how to handle a dispute under the contract may be worthwhile to negotiate.

Using a Form Contract

Many Ottumwa, Iowa lawyers use form contracts as a template for any new agreement. The attorney will add or remove contract provisions that the parties want, plus modify the specific language of the form contract to meet the parties' needs. This usually saves all parties time and money. However, form contracts can pose problems if they need to be interpreted by courts, particularly if they are used without the guidance of an attorney. First, parties using form contracts often do not read all the clauses, and can therefore be unaware of their obligations under the contract. Second, using a contract that someone else has written can obligate the parties to a contract clause that they do not understand. Whether you decide to negotiate a contract or use a form contract, an attorney will be able to help you ensure that the written instrument matches your intent. Many lawyers practicing in Ottumwa are experts of Iowa contract law.