What is a Contract?
A contract is a legally binding agreement that consists of promises, and in case of a breach, the law provides remedies, or if the performance is recognized as a duty, the law enforces it. To create a valid and enforceable contract, you must be at least 18 years old, possess the mental capacity to understand the terms of the contract, and intend to comply with them.
It is essential to understand that the presence of a written contract does not automatically make it legal. It cannot be assumed that the contract was drafted by an attorney or that its terms are lawful. To be legally binding, a contract must meet specific requirements, including offer, acceptance, and consideration.
Consideration is a crucial element of a legally enforceable contract. It refers to the exchange of something of value between the parties, such as money or services, which supports the promises made in the contract. Without consideration, the contract may be viewed as a gift rather than an enforceable agreement.
We are here to provide legal assistance and guidance in navigating the complexities of contract law. If you have any contract-related concerns or issues, please contact our office to discuss how we can assist you.
Regrettably, it’s a common occurrence for homeowners and contractors to forego formal written agreements, instead relying on bids or invoices. This practice has resulted in numerous lawsuits due to misunderstandings that could have been avoided if the parties had clarified their expectations from the outset. To prevent such conflicts, it’s crucial to include specific construction tasks in writing, written change orders for any work beyond the original contract, an attorney’s fees clause, payment dates and schedules, and a total project cost not to exceed. If you’re a homeowner and a contractor took your deposit but failed to complete or poorly executed the work, you can seek legal action against them and their bond if available.
On the other hand, if you’re a contractor and a homeowner refuses to pay you for your agreed-upon work, you can file a lien on the property where the work was carried out to secure payment.
CONTRACT LAW ISSUES
Individuals and business owners often face issues related to various types of contracts. For instance, you or your business may enter into a contract with an individual or company to provide specific services. You sign a contract or have an oral agreement for the services, but if the work is not performed as promised or not done properly, it may lead to a legal dispute over the services that were not rendered as agreed.
There are several fundamental elements in contract law, including:
- Agreement or understanding
- Offer and acceptance
- Consideration (a mutual exchange of something valuable, like money)
- Delivery of the promise or performance
- Good faith agreement
- Compliance with public policies
At our firm, our attorneys have extensive knowledge and experience in contract law. We handle a wide range of contract matters on a daily basis, including those that arise in the following areas:
- Reviewing real estate purchase and sale agreements
- Residential and commercial lease agreements
- Construction contracts
- Business agreements
- Physician and hospital agreements
- Non-compete agreements
- Separation and release agreements
- Litigation involving breach of contract