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 Columbia

There is more to a contract than what is required for it to be valid in Columbia. The individual terms of the contract should all be discussed separately so that the intent of each party is understood by the other. The terms of the contract may be decided based on clear expectations if both parties are upfront about their intentions early on. Also, parties may want to discuss whether they need a provision for resolving any disputes under the contract.

Using a Form Contract

Many Columbia, Illinois 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. There are risks in using form contracts without the guidance of an attorney. First, parties are less likely to read form contracts completely, which may lead to one side being unaware of their duties 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. With either a negotiated contract or a form, an attorney can ensure that the written document matches the intent of each party. Lawyers in Columbia often specialize in Illinois contract law.