Contracts are not merely for legally enforcing “rules and regulations” on clients.
Their first function is to memorialize (in writing) your promises and understandings to each other.
Memories fail. Things are conveniently “forgotten.” Your contract serves as a written memory of what you both agreed on to each other.
The other role your contract plays is in outlining your standards and helping set proper understandings and expectations for the relationship.
With your contract, you are saying, Here is how I expect to be treated with courtesy and respect. And for my part, here is how I will treat you with courtesy and respect as a client…
So it’s just dumb for anyone to tell you to take anything out of your contract that you may or may not enforce legally.
You might as well not even bother with a contract at all then because if that’s the logic, more than half the standard terms and conditions that need to legally be in a contract to be enforceable would get taken out.
And why stop there. There’s no point then in putting anything in writing if you think the only reason for it is whether you’re really going to sue someone or not if they don’t comply.
Shoot, just let clients do whatever they want and dictate everything to you. Because again, by that logic, anything else would be being a “hardass.”
There’s nothing hardass about informing clients that when you are working on retainer, you expect them to give you 30 days notice if they intend to terminate the relationship. (I actually recommend 20 days, which is what I do in my practice.)
The reasoning is that you have reserved space for that client and dedicated priority to them. If they decide to terminate at a moment’s notice, that leaves you in a lurch without being given a courteous, reasonable amount of time with which to try to refill that slot.
It’s like the policy of requiring 24 or 48 hours notice if someone needs to cancel an appointment. By stating it in your policies, you are telling people how you expect to be treated and respected, that your time is valuable.
And that clause (at least in the ACA contracts) works both ways. You are saying to them, I’m not going to leave you in a lurch either. If I determine that our relationship needs to end, I’m going to give you X number of days notice as well.
It has nothing to do with being a hardass or whether or not you would even take them to court if they didn’t honor the agreements they made to you.
It’s about good business, having and honoring your standards, and informing clients upfront what is expected.