A contract in Iowa is an agreement about anything 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 generally 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 Polk County

Along with specific clauses that should be included in every Polk County 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 forthright about your intentions early on can be helpful, because it allows the terms of the contract to be determined 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 Polk County, Iowa attorneys 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. There are risks to using a contract that neither party has written, especially if you proceed without the assistance of an attorney. First, form contracts have the tendency to go unread. Any party who does not carefully review all the contract terms can be left unaware of their obligations under the contract. Second, form contracts often use words and language understood only within the legal community. This may cause parties to agree to a term they don't really understand. Attorneys can help ensure that a written contract matches the intent of the parties, whether negotiating a contract or using a form. Iowa contract law is a field in which many Polk County attorneys have specialized.