Elements of a Legal Contract
- A legally enforceable contract in the state of Ohio must contain several elements. The contract must clearly outline the offer, including specialized terms that must be defined to clear up any potential confusion should there be a future disagreement. All terms of the contract must be explained, including the responsibilities of both parties and any list of conditions under which the contract can be canceled by either side. Most contracts will also include time lines and any additional considerations deemed important by either side.
- There are several rules under Ohio law that can be applied to make a contract unenforceable. The first and most obvious is if the contract is over an action, policy or anything considered illegal. If any part of the contract forces a party into illegal actions, then the contract is automatically considered unenforceable. A contract can also be canceled due to mistakes, duress or fraud. If there are major mistakes in a contract, both sides can cancel the document for a new one, and under Ohio law, a contract is not legally binding if it was signed under duress or if one party intentionally committed fraud in misrepresenting its part of the deal.
- There are several ways under which a contract can end or be terminated under Ohio law. If the contract is based on time lines, it is considered officially over once the stated time is up. Project-specific contracts can end the same way. Once a project is completed according to the contract, that contract is done. A breach of contract is another way a contract can be terminated. It may take an Ohio court to determine if the breach is minor (i.e. it won't affect the outcome of the contract), or if it is a significant breach. A major breach of contract can result in cancellation of the agreement.