A contract dispute comes down to arguing about words on a page. If you have ever sent a well-intentioned email or text message, only to find someone taking it the wrong way, you will know the problems that words can cause.
Contracts have far more words than messages and emails, and their wording is often technical, archaic or both. Hence there is even more chance of issues.
Take a step back before you slap the other party with a lawsuit or swear to destroy them for accusing you of breaching the contract. Consider if there is a real issue at stake or whether one of you is misunderstanding the contract.
Here are a few steps you can take when signing contracts to reduce the chance they lead to disputes:
Make sure you understand what you are signing
Many contract issues result because no one took the time to read and ensure they understood the contract at the outset. Contracts are negotiable before you sign them. Your supplier may use the same agreement with another 20 local firms, but that does not mean it will suit you.
You should only sign a contract once you understand every last word. If that means hiring in help to check it, do so. It will be less costly than dealing with any disputes that arise because you did not know what you were signing.
Clarify any ambiguous language
If someone could interpret a sentence or paragraph in more than one way, rewrite it until it is clear. It avoids grey areas, which could lead to friction.
If you already have a contract dispute on your hand, you need to reread your contract and ensure you understand it. Getting help to show you did not commit a breach or show the other party did may be enough to resolve the situation quickly and amicably.