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Long are the days when a handshake is all an individual needs to ensure that another individual will abide by the terms of their initial agreement. Today, to ensure that a party will abide by the terms of a contract, its terms must be precise.


Whether the contract is for a prenuptial agreement, employment contract, sales contract, or a real estate contract, the concept is always the same. In essence, all parties need a concise agreement to avoid future litigation; therefore, the contract should be clear and straightforward. 


Before writing the contract, it is imperative that the client first meets with his/her attorney to advise the attorney of the points that matter the most to the client.  Second, the attorney must engage the client in various scenarios and situations along with possible strategies the parties can use to bring about resolution of those events. 


When drafting a contract, the first paragraph should identify the correct legal names of the parties, and the date the parties agreed to the terms of the contract.  Another way to draft a clear contract is by underlining paragraph headings, which will keep the paragraphs flowing in an organized pattern.  It is also essential to be consistent in the use of the words in the contract, along with correct grammar and punctuation. 


It is also essential to consider the choice of law, venue selection, and attorneys’ fee clauses.  If the parties need to dispute the contract, having these clauses in place may assist the client in the event of litigation. 


When finalizing the contract, the contract should be preferably signed in blue ink, which is helpful to determine the original from copies. Additionally, both parties should sign every page of the contract, which eliminates the question of changes to pages after its execution. 


The parties to the contract should sign in the presence of two witnesses. The witnesses should sign after that, then print their names after their signatures.  Finally, if an individual is signing on behalf of a corporation, they should include their title and the corporation’s name – failure to do so may result in personal liability of the officer.


If you need assistance in drafting a contract or reviewing a contract, please contact Kimberly M. Soto at 321.972.2279 so she can further advise you. 

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