Contract Law Explained
A contract is a legally enforceable agreement between two parties, it is basically a set of promises that can be enforced by a court of law. A contract can be oral or it can written down, but in practice it is nearly impossible to enforce an oral contract so almost all contracts are written. A contract is an important agreement that comes with serious obligations and it is important that you understand what you are agreeing to before you enter into a contract. It is also a good idea to consult a lawyer before you enter into a contract in order to make sure that your legal rights are protected.

There are certain elements that must be included in a contract in order for it to be legally enforceable, contract law imagethe first is that there must be an offer and that the offer must be accepted. The offer and the acceptance can be in writing or oral but in most cases they are in writing simply because of the difficulty in proving an oral contract. Offers normally have a time limit to them in which they must be accepted or they expire, this so that you can't be forced into a contract on an offer you made years earlier. Acceptance must be a positive act, doing nothing can not be considered accepting the terms of the contract.

The next element of a contract is consideration, in order for a contract to be deemed enforceable both parties entering into the contract must have gotten some benefit out of it. The courts will rule a contract invalid if one of the parties got nothing in return for the simple reason that the party had no reason to enter into a contract. This is to prevent people from getting ripped off. Consideration has to have some sort of value but doesn't need to be money.

There are also requirements that there be a legal intent to enter into a contract. Just because two parties agree to something doesn't mean that there is an intention to form a contract. In general if two strangers enter into a contract the presumption is that they legally intended to do so, however if two family members do the presumption is that they did not, unless it can be proven otherwise, according to our legal expert friends at LawyersandTheLaw.com.

A contract must also be legal and both parties must have the capacity to honor the contract. That is you can't enter into a contract that requires one of the parties to do something illegal. Nor you can you enter into a contract in which one of the parties is required to do something that they are not capable of doing. Finally there has to be genuine consent to enter into the contract, a contract that contains a misrepresentation is not legally binding. This is true whether the misrepresentation is fraudulent or not, you can not enforce a contract that contains a misrepresentation in it.