Modifying or Amending an Existing Contract
After a contract has been signed, you may want to modify, amend or change it. But not so fast!
Written by Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Monmouth County New Jersey Contract Attorney
In New Jersey, contract modifications require the agreement of all parties to the contract before they are effective.
Modifying a Contract before Signing It
To be legally binding, a contract must be agreed to by all parties. Before signing a contract, you should carefully read it to be sure that you understand your obligations and the obligations of the other parties. If you don’t understand the contract, or you have questions about the meaning of the contract, have a qualified NJ contract attorney review the contract and explain it to you.
What happens if you or the other party wants to modify or amend the existing contract?
First, make a list of changes, or modifications, that you’d like to see, then discuss them with the other parties to the contract. As a result of this negotiation, you may be able to change the contract to your liking with terms more favorable to you.
Modifying a Contract after Signing It
Once a contract has been signed, it typically cannot be changed unless all parties to the contract agree to the modifications.
If the contract doesn’t address the issue of changes, you’ll need to talk to the other party and make sure that they agree to the changes, then, to be on the safe side, add a written rider (commonly called an “addendum”) to the contract that addresses the changes. This rider should be signed by each party to the original contract.
There may be instances where all parties to a contract are unable to come to agreement on changes. If that happens, you’ll have to live with the original agreement, walk away from the contact (if it hasn’t been signed) or calculate how much it will cost to break the contract and decide whether it’s worth the cost.
Questions for Your Attorney
If you don’t understand the language in a contract, need to better understand the obligations of a contract or need help negotiating a contract, consider contacting a New Jersey contract law attorney like Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. who may be able to assist you. He can be reached by calling toll-free (855) 376-5291 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.