Assuming that a contract is valid, its terms will usually be enforced by a New York judge. Generally speaking, a contract is deemed to be legitimate only if it is entered into freely by individuals who are of sound mind. Furthermore, some form of consideration must be exchanged by the parties to the agreement.
What is consideration?
Consideration is anything of value that a person receives from another party to the agreement. For instance, a painting contractor might agree to paint a person’s home in exchange for cash. However, the painter could also choose to accept a gold watch, a travel voucher or anything else that has a tangible market value.
What does it mean to be of sound mind?
As a general rule, anyone who signs a contract must have an understanding of what he or she is agreeing to. In almost every state, minors are unable to sign a contract because the law sees them as mentally unfit to understand the implications of doing so. A business litigation attorney may provide more insight into whether a given agreement might be at risk of being nullified by a judge.
Do contracts need to be written?
Despite the fact that they are harder to enforce, oral contracts are considered valid in some cases. However, real estate agreements, deals that last more than a year and contracts involving consideration over a certain dollar amount typically have to be in writing.
Generally speaking, it is in your best interest to have an attorney review a contract before signing it. This may help to ensure that you understand what you are agreeing to. It may also help to ensure that the terms of the deal conform to state law.