Drafting an amendment to a settlement agreement arises when the parties agree to a change in the original settlement agreement. Often, the process starts with additional negotiation, and if the parties reach a new agreement, an amendment is drafted. The new agreement supersedes the original settlement agreement.
Contact the other party and request a modification to the settlement agreement. Depending on the nature of the proposed amendment, the terms may require some additional negotiation. Because the agreement is contractual, the other party does not have to consent to the proposed change.
Reach a "meeting of the minds" with respect to the modification of the settlement agreement. If the parties arrive at an agreement, the parties may begin drafting the amendment.
Title the new document so it becomes clear there's an amendment to the original settlement agreement. A basic example: "Amendment to Settlement Agreement."
Draft the agreed-upon modifications and include a reference to the original settlement agreement. A basic example: "The parties agree to amend the Settlement Agreement as follows."
Include an "entire agreement" clause. Such a clause may include language to the effect that all prior agreements are merged into this agreement; this new agreement represents the entire agreement between the contracting parties and supersedes all prior agreements; and any amendments or modifications must conform to a writing and signed by all contracting parties.
Attach the amendment to the original settlement agreement.
Sign and date the amendment.
Forward the amendment with the original settlement agreement to the other contracting party for review and signature.
Receive a copy of the fully executed amendment, which represents your new settlement agreement.
Consult an attorney if you have any questions about drafting a contract or an amendment to a contract.
- signing a contract image by William Berry from Fotolia.com