In its most basic form, a contract is an agreement by two or more parties that is binding on all parties. In some cases, a party may agree to do something that it otherwise would not be obligated to do. In other cases, a party may not do something that it is otherwise entitled to do. Regardless of what the contract states, it is not valid if one or more parties to the contract are ruled incompetent.
While a verbal contract may be binding, it may be difficult to enforce. Contracts involving sales of real estate or other goods over $500 may need to be put in writing. Contracts that take more than 12 months to honor may also need to be put into writing. Those who enter into a contract may create it on their own or do so with the guidance of an attorney.
In addition to a written contract being easier to enforce, it may make it easier to determine the key points of the deal. In the event that a dispute arises over the contract, the dispute may be resolved according to the laws of the state where the contract was signed. It may also be possible that the contract itself creates the framework for how disputes are resolved.
During contract disputes, it may be worthwhile to have the assistance of an attorney to help resolve the issue. An attorney may be able to review the contract to see if its terms have been breached. Depending on what the terms of the contract are, an attorney may then be able to help a party to that contract seek relief either in court, through mediation or through arbitration.