We enter into contracts every day for business and personal reasons. It is important that the terms of the contract are properly negotiated, correctly drafted, and reviewed to ensure the contract meets the intentions of the parties involved. The parties to the contract bargain for their own best interests.
While negotiating contracts, make certain you are comfortable with your proposed duties and obligations. Make your intentions, requirements and expectations of the other party clear at the beginning of negotiations. And, as a safeguard, remember to negotiate for a remedy within the contract if there is a breach by either of the parties.
A lot of times, people use form contracts, which have the language and terms already set. Landlord/tenant agreements are a common example of when form contracts are used. Parties usually do not negotiate when using form contracts. You can also use a form contract as a model when drafting a more customized contract. Pay attention to the details, define any words that could be misconstrued, or any terms that are ambiguous, be specific. When drafting a contract, clarifying the terms and duties should be the goal. Make sure to carefully review the terms of the contract so you are aware of your responsibilities.
Many parties use legalese, legal words and language, when drafting contracts. This can make the terms and obligations of the contract confusing. Use regular language when possible, to ensure that both parties understand what the contract says and means.
Before you sign any contract, read it. Make sure you know what your stated obligations are under the contract. If you are uncertain as to your duties, and you sign the contract, you may be liable for breaching the contract. It’s a good idea to have a lawyer review the contract terms to ensure that your needs will be met and that you will not obligate yourself unexpectedly.
Contract negotiations, especially important financial contracts, can be grueling. An attorney can help you with negotiations, making sure that your needs and requirements will be met. Also, a lawyer can help you with the initial and final draft and contract review, and explain to you your duties under the contract. An attorney is there to look out for your best interests throughout the entire contract process.