Contract law is fundamental to our whole economy. When you buy food from a restaurant or give Amazon money to send you a product, that’s a contract. If you tell your children you will give them an allowance to do all of their chores, that counts as a contract too. Because contracts are just the derivative of agreements between people, every transaction can be considered one, even if it doesn’t involve money.
Although a contract is always valid, you may need to prove its validity to legally enforce it. Proving in court that an agreement was actually made can be difficult without legal support from a skilled attorney. At Sparks Law, our lawyers are well-versed in the validity of contracts in Georgia and can advise you on a wide variety of issues involving these transactions.
All agreements are contracts, regardless of if they were made in writing, implied in an email or text, or even just spoken. It is easiest to uphold agreements made in writing, so it is advised that you consult an attorney any time you wish to draft a contract. However, our savvy local attorneys also have experience proving the validity of non-written contracts.
If a contract is not written, there are several scenarios in which it could still be legally upheld in a dispute. For instance, an oral contract in a recorded conversation can likely be enforced.
In Georgia, only one party in a conversation needs to agree in order to record the interaction. The other side does not even need to be notified of the recording. These laws are different in other states, but if a Georgia resident wants to make an oral contract, they can record the conversation without the other person knowing. That agreement should then be considered valid in any contract disputes in Georgia court.
If an oral contract was not recorded, an attorney could still prove that it is enforceable by pointing to other forms of communication that reference the agreement. For example, say that you agreed on an unrecorded phone call to have a handyman come and fix your fountain. If you send a text message asking, “What’s your daily rate for Tuesday?” and he responded, “$300,” this exchange implies that a contract was made.
A contract is invalid if it involves criminal activities. For instance, an agreement to buy heroin from somebody is unenforceable and voidable at any time. A knowledgeable attorney at our firm can further advise on what contract terms may be invalid in Georgia.
A contract with a minor is not guaranteed to be enforceable. A minor can sign an agreement, but they are allowed to step out of the contract for no reason. For the contract to be legally valid and binding, a minor needs a parent to sign on their behalf.
In some cases, a judge might find one provision of a contract invalid even if the rest of the terms are legally enforceable. Severability means that the judge can strike down one provision without making the entire contract invalid. However, this aspect of contract law is complex and difficult to understand without a legal background. Because contracts often require extremely precise language, it is essential to work with a seasoned attorney to ensure that a few words won’t make your entire agreement unenforceable.
Contracts are valid with or without formal contractual provisions. What is important is whether the agreement is enforceable so that you can benefit from your side of the deal. Especially in high-value transactions, it is crucial to work with an experienced lawyer who can list all the terms in a valid and enforceable contract.
The attorneys at Sparks Law are skilled at drafting clear contract provisions and closing potential loopholes. The best protection against getting cheated out of a deal is to address every possible scenario in writing beforehand. Call today to learn more about the validity of contracts in Georgia.