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 Cook County

There is more to a contract than what is required for it to be valid in Cook County. 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 Cook County, 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. 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, 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. With either a negotiated contract or a form, an attorney can ensure that the written document matches the intent of each party. Lawyers in Cook County often specialize in Illinois contract law.