Have you ever asked yourself the question, “How can I change a contract after it has been signed?”
You’re not alone. When people ask this question, they’re usually frustrated or not sure where to start. Luckily, there are steps you can take to get your contract changed. And in this blog, I’m going to tell you how to amend a contract, after it has been signed.
Amendment vs. Addendum
Before we dive in, there are different types of ways to change a contract. One way is an amendment and the other way is an addendum.
- Amendments: Amendments are useful when you need to make changes to a contract without having to create an entirely new one. Amendments can be used to change the delivery date, extend the term, modify payment terms, or make any other necessary adjustments.
- Addendum: A contract addendum is an addition or attachment to an agreement that modifies or adds obligations and/or terms to the original contract.
Is it legal to change a contract after signing?
In general, it is not legal to change a contract after signing without the agreement of both parties. Once a contract has been signed, it becomes a legally binding agreement, and any changes to its terms must be done in a formal and transparent manner. Any attempt to alter the contract unilaterally could be considered a breach of contract and may lead to legal consequences. However, there may be certain exceptions to this rule, such as when there is:
- A mutual mistake
- Fraud in the original contract
- A change is necessary to fulfill the obligations outlined in the contract
Ultimately, it is important to ensure that any changes to a contract are made through the proper channels and with the consent of both parties to avoid any potential legal issues.
First, you should review your initial contract to see what the terms are, and whether those terms allow for any changes.
The first thing to do is review your initial contract to see what the terms are and whether those terms allow for any changes. You should also check how much time has passed since you signed it. If you signed a week ago and now want to change it, that’s different from signing a year ago and asking for changes.
This section in your contract that you’ll find whether or not you can change your contract is usually under “Modifying a Contract”.
If you can’t change the terms through the contract itself, you can always propose to your partner that you amend the contract.
If you can’t change the terms through the contract itself, you can always propose to your partner that you amend the contract. It’s always better to do this formally and in writing – an oral amendment won’t be enforceable if there is a dispute later on.
If you and your client have a good relationship and it’s not a major change in the contract, there should be little to no issue on amending the contract.
Once you’ve decided that you can change the contract, you’ll need to draw up a contract amendment
Once you have agreed on the changes, you will need to draft a contract amendment that accurately reflects the agreed-upon modifications. This document should include the elements discussed below.
What should be included in an amendment?
To ensure that the amendment accurately reflects the agreed-upon changes, it should include the following elements:
- Identification of the parties involved: The amendment should identify the parties to the original contract, as well as any new parties that are being added or removed.
- Reference to the original contract: The amendment should include the date and title of the original contract to make it clear which agreement is being modified.
- Clear description of the changes: The amendment should clearly describe the changes being made to the original contract. This may include adding or removing terms, modifying existing terms, or clarifying ambiguous language.
- Agreement of all parties: The amendment should be signed and dated by all parties involved in the contract, indicating their agreement to the changes.
- Effective date: The amendment should specify the effective date of the changes, which may be different from the date the amendment is signed.
- Integration clause: The amendment should include an integration clause stating that it is the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the subject matter of the amendment, and that it supersedes all prior agreements and understandings, whether written or oral.
The new amendment will become part of your original contract.
It’s important that both parties sign and date the new version of the contract. Make sure that everyone involved has a copy of the amended agreement and keep a signed version for your records. This will help avoid any confusion or disputes in the future.
Takeaway: It’s possible to change a contract after it is signed, but both parties need to agree that this is necessary.
In short, as with most legal changes and additions to contracts, it all comes down to a matter of trust. If you have built a strong relationship and rapport with the client, they will likely be willing to negotiate on these terms. On the other hand, if there is little trust between you, adding conditions or changing language in an existing contract will likely be next to impossible. So make sure that the trust is well earned, and you have a solid working relationship with your client before making any substantial changes.
If you’re not sure how to structure your contract amendment, grab the contract amendment template.