What You Need to Know About Legally Binding Contracts in Florida | Rubén J. Padrón, PA

What You Need to Know About Legally Binding Contracts in Florida

January 11, 2020

A contract is a formalized agreement between people or entities in which one party agrees to provide goods or a service in exchange for other goods or services or money. A contract is established when one party offers the exchange and the other accepts the offer. The contract is important because the existence of an offer and acceptance is not enough to make it legally binding—the written contract is what makes the agreement “official” in terms of contract law in Miami, FL.

For a person or entity to enter into a legally binding contract, they must have the legal capacity to enter into such a contract. For example, in the vast majority of cases, minors cannot enter into a contract because they are unable to legally provide consent.

A legally binding contract must feature an exchange of promises to act, which could include providing those goods, services or money. It is also important to note that agreeing to do something can become a binding agreement if you act in a way that is detrimental to yourself while relying on the other party to the contract to fulfill their own promise to perform. Forfeiting the right to act due to reliance on a promise is also likely to be insufficient for creating a binding contract.

Contracts should be written with clear terms

While oral contracts do exist, they are very difficult to enforce, and thus it is generally advisable to avoid them. Written contracts are nearly always the preferable format, because having the document written down with objective language can eliminate any potential disputes about the contract’s terms and agreements. Both parties will have a copy of the contract with the exact language to which they agreed. This written contract also ensures greater understanding among each party about their rights and obligations.

It is important that both parties make an effort to understand the terms to which they agree. Some contracts can limit rights of parties to file a lawsuit, or the courts in which a lawsuit may be brought. In addition, contracts may contain legal jargon with which you are unfamiliar. This is one of many reasons why it’s important to work with an attorney who practices in contract law in Miami, FL—they will be able to translate the legal language in layperson’s terms to you, and make sure you enter into the agreement with full understanding of the contract’s stipulations.

Breaches of contract and contract disputes

There are some circumstances in which disputes may arise over terms of the contract. If one party breaches the contract, for example, the other party may file a lawsuit to enforce it. The suing party can elect to compel the other party to fulfill the promise of the contract, or to pay damages instead of fulfilling that promise. There is a statute of limitations for breach of contract lawsuits.

These are some of the basics of contract law in Miami, FL, but if you are interested in learning more, we encourage you to contact the office of Ruben J. Padron, PA today.

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