In Missouri, 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 Cape Girardeau

There is more to a contract than what is required for it to be valid in Cape Girardeau. The specific 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 Cape Girardeau, Missouri 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 to using a contract that neither party has written, particularly if you proceed without the advice of an attorney. First, form contracts have the tendency to go unread. Any party who does not carefully review all the contract clauses can be left 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. Lawyers can help ensure that a written contract matches the intent of the parties, whether negotiating a contract or using a form. Missouri contract law is a field in which many Cape Girardeau lawyers have specialized.