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 Chicago
There is more to a contract than what is required for it to be valid in Chicago. The individual terms of the contract should all be discussed separately so 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
Using a form contract as a baseline for your agreement may save you time. Lawyers practicing Illinois law in Chicago 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 advice 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 use words and language understood only within the legal community. This may cause parties to agree to a clause they don't really understand. An attorney can ensure that a written contract matches the intent of the parties, both with form contracts and in negotiations. In Chicago, many lawyers specialize in Illinois contract law.