In Michigan, when two parties come to a mutually understood agreement that they intend to have legal force, a contract is created. There are both written and oral contracts, since all that is required is that the parties agree and understand each other. In business transactions, written contracts are typically 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 Grand Rapids
Negotiating the particular terms of a contract is crucial. There are several terms that should be included in every Grand Rapids contract to ensure that the agreement protects the interests of the parties. 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
Form contracts can serve as a good starting point for a sound agreement. Lawyers in Grand Rapids, Michigan often keep past contracts on file, and can add or remove terms based on the situation. They can also reword the specific language of form contracts to make them more clear. 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, a party using a form contract may not have completely read all the terms, and can thereby remain unaware of his performance obligations and liabilities if events do not go as planned. 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. Lawyers can help ensure that a written contract matches the intent of the parties, whether negotiating a contract or using a form. Michigan contract law is a field in which many Grand Rapids lawyers have specialized.