Documents simply signed through the course of ordinary business may still be considered contracts. Purchase orders, receipts, sales agreements and others can be held legally binding under certain circumstances. As a legally binding agreement, a contract must be fully understood in order for its legal consequences to be appreciated. Not expecting a contract's enforcement is generally no excuse under the law.
How Can I Ensure a Contract is Good?
As a general rule, read anything before you sign it. As you read it, make sure you understand the sections that state your obligations. However, documents can often be too long for a worthwhile read, or so commonplace that reading each one is not practical. If so, there are still other ways you can effectively review it. An attorney in Ludlow, Massachusetts can review any standardized documents that are signed during routine business, and can also look over any individual contract before you sign it. As they review contracts, lawyers ensure that the written documents match the intent of their clients.
What if I Don't Understand a Contract in Massachusetts?
Although contracts are expressed in words, the agreement itself is what matters. Regardless of the language, parties to a contract are generally legally bound only according to their understanding of the contract. Since it's your understanding that matters, relying on the other party's explanation of the contract terms can lead to problems. In Ludlow, you can find a neutral third party that is qualified to review and explain the contract. Negotiations in some particular fields, such as finance, can require unique expertise; but no matter how complicated the situation, the objective of contract law in Massachusetts is to give legal effect to the intent of the parties involved.