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Contracts matter. Contracts and the obligations they bind us to will shape our present and future, from the smallest purchase to the biggest personal decisions. That is one lesson to be taken from this recent decision by a California court, in which  a spouse who agreed to destroy embryos upon a divorce was found to be bound by that agreement, even if it destroys her chances of having children in the future. Of course the case is subject to appeal. But it's a stark reminder that our contractual agreements matter, often regardless of the circumstances that may lead us to want to break them.

I think that some essential rules to keep in mind when entering into a contract are these: There are no such things as meaningless boilerplate or irrelevant clauses. Know what you're getting into before you sign. Check every part of a contract before signing it. Caveat Emptor.