What is a contract?

A contract is an agreement between two or more persons that creates an obligation to do or not do a particular thing. Once you graduate from high school and go to work or college, you likely will face many situations in which you are asked to enter into a contract. Some of the more common contracts you may encounter include …

Can I make a contract before turning 18?

Yes, but you will probably find that most people will refuse to enter into a contract with someone under the age of 18 because courts generally will not enforce contracts against minors. However, there are certain exceptions, including some government and student loans and contracts for “necessaries” (such as food, lodging, and clothing).

Must all contracts be in writing?

No, not all contracts have to be in writing. However, the law does require that contracts for the sale of land and long-term leases be in writing.

What are some of the disadvantages of written contracts?

Certain contracts, especially form contracts prepared by only one of the parties, may contain language not easily understood and that may be unfair to you. These contracts may contain clauses that, without the advice of an attorney, put you at a real disadvantage if problems arise in the future.

What are some general rules to follow when asked to sign a contract?

The first and most important rule is READ THE CONTRACT! After you have read the contract, if there are items you do not understand or disagree with, do not sign it until you are completely satisfied with the answers and understand every clause or until you have consulted with your attorney. Never blindly accept the explanation or assurances of the other …