When parties to an agreement intend it to have legal effect, that agreement is called a contract. In North Dakota, contracts may be oral or written, as long as both parties have the same understanding of the terms of the agreement. A written contract is generally preferred by most businesses, because that make the agreements more reliable. Contracts may involve legal principles, so they are best formed with a clear understanding of the law.

Negotiating a Contract in Devils Lake

There is more to a contract than what is required for it to be valid in Devils Lake. The individual terms of the contract should all be discussed separately so that the intent of each party is understood by the other. Stating your intentions clearly at the outset of negotiations is helpful, since then the parties may carefully detail the obligations and duties of the contract based on mutual expectations. Also, you may want to negotiate a process that can be followed should one party not fulfill its end of the contract.

Using a Form Contract

If an agreement needs a good starting point, you may want to consider a form contract. An attorney in Devils Lake,North Dakota can add or remove provisions according to the intent of the parties, and even the specific language can be made more comprehensible so that expectations are clear. However, form contracts can pose problems if they need to be interpreted by courts, especially if they are used without the help 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. Attorneys can help ensure that a written contract matches the intent of the parties, whether negotiating a contract or using a form. North Dakota contract law is a field in which many Devils Lake attorneys have specialized.