A contract in Illinois 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 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 Alton

There is more to a contract than what is required for it to be valid in Alton. The individual terms of the contract should all be discussed separately so that the intent of each party is understood by the other. Stating your intentions clearly at the outset of negotiations is helpful, since then the parties may carefully detail the obligations and duties of the contract based on mutual expectations. Also, you may want to negotiate a process that can be followed should one party not fulfill its end of the contract.

Using a Form Contract

Using a form contract as a baseline for your agreement may save you time. Lawyers practicing Illinois law in Alton can be helpful in selecting the right form, and can also revise the contract to make it the best fit for your individual situation. 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, using a form contract makes it more likely that one of the parties will not have understood the clauses. This can lead to them being unaware of their duties under the contract. Second, form contracts often contain language that is particular to the field of law, and using forms without an understanding of this language can cause future disagreements over a contract's meaning. Whether you negotiate or use a form, an attorney can help ensure that the written contract matches your intent. Many lawyers in Alton are experts in Illinois contract law.