When parties to an agreement intend it to have legal effect, that agreement is called a contract. In Missouri, contracts may be oral or written, as long as both parties have the same understanding of the terms of the agreement. Most businesses want to solidify their agreements in writing so that they can rely on them in the future. Since many legal principles may be involved, drafting a contract works best when done with as much knowledge of the law as possible.

Negotiating a Contract in University

There is more to a contract than what is required for it to be valid in University. The specific terms of the contract should all be discussed separately so that the intent of each party is understood by the other. Being forthright about your intentions early on can be helpful, because it allows the terms of the contract to be determined 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

Many University, Missouri attorneys 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, especially if they are used without the assistance of an attorney. First, parties are less likely to read form contracts thoroughly, which may lead to one side being unaware of their duties 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 term 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. Attorneys in University often specialize in Missouri contract law.