Just like everyday laws you know and abide by, mattress regulations are just as vital. You may not think mattress laws and regulations are all that important, but, as a mattress owner, knowing their ins and outs is crucial for personal safety. And just like everyday laws you know and abide by, having that knowledge on hand can make your life all that much easier.
We’ve compiled together information on mattress laws that will help you safely use and enjoy your mattress.
Law Label: What Is It?
If you’ve ever seen that strip of paper sticking off of your mattress, that’s the law label. In straightforward terms, the label gives you all of the necessary information of your mattress, such as filling materials, manufacturing information, and contents.
All U.S. government label requirements must have the following:
- Generic material names
- A registered ID number of a manufacturer or their name
- The country where the mattress was manufactured
- The fiber percentage by weight of each material used in the mattress
How to Identify Label Color Coding
Used and rebuilt mattresses can usually be identified by red or yellow labels affixed to them. These labels are required by law to be attached before they can be resold.
For mattresses that are brand new, they are required to have a white tag identifying new materials used in the manufacturing process. If any recycled or reused materials were used in making the mattress, then the tag must explicitly say this.
Is It Illegal to Remove Tags from My Mattress?
You may think your mattress tag is useless, but it’s actually there for a very important reason. Of course, it isn’t illegal for you, the consumer, to remove your mattress tag, as they say “Do Not Remove Under Penalty of Law Except by The Consumer,” but keep in mind that your tag is for your own benefit and safety
Mattress tags go way back, as far as the late 1800s. Before there were any kinds of mattress regulations, manufacturers got away with all kinds of shady business practices, like reusing old bedding for mattresses marketed as brand new. This led to all sorts of issues like the spread of disease, bacteria, bed bugs, and so on coming from reusing old bedding.
Lawmakers soon grew wise to this and took action. They introduced tags to curb the spread of disease and filth, which required manufacturers to list the materials of the mattress. Such an important label for consumer well-being meant that manufacturers by law could not remove the tag, which gave us the famous tagline as we know it, effectively stopping the practice of selling used mattresses as used.
Of course, the application of mattress laws varies from state to state, but federal law mandates that any and all mattresses are required to have these labels intact on sale.
Can I Sell My Used Mattress?
If you’re in the market to sell your used mattress, there are a few things you should know. First off, there are laws regarding conditions your mattress should follow before reselling, such as cleaning and sanitation, re-covering, and flammability of your mattress. These laws will differ depending on the state you’re in, so be sure to do your research.
Laws regarding re-covering vary from state to state, as some states will only allow you to sell your used mattress if it’s fitted with new cover ticking. Some other states, on the other hand, prohibit this practice, as re-covering can hide mattress flaws like damage, stains, and so on.
For flammability, federal law dictates that your mattress is within standards set by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), 16 CFR Part 1633. These standards are important, as they keep mattress fires contained and curb fire from spreading.
The guidelines set specify that mattress materials should not surpass 200-kW peak heat during the first 30 minutes of official safety tests.
The manufacturer of your mattress and the CPSC will know the flammability of your mattress, if you’re ever unsure. So be sure to contact either one before reselling, so as to get updated and accurate information.
Mattress cleaning also depends on your state, as some require that all second-hand mattresses must be cleaned completely before a sale. The easiest and most convenient way to do this is either through a professional steam clean or chemical treatment service of your choice.
If you want more information on selling and buying second-hand mattresses, you can browse the Federal Trade Commission’s Consumer Information page here
Can My Warranty Be Transferred?
Unfortunately, warranties do not transfer over to a new owner, even if it’s still in-date. Be sure to bring this up with any new buyers, as they might want a mattress warranty.
How Do I Recycle My Mattress?
There are rules and regulations when it comes to mattress recycling, and anyone looking to recycle theirs must follow them.
Usually, you can find a mattress recycling center nearest to you by searching online. Prices for recycling run from $10 to $20 if you choose this route, or up to double if you pay for a collection service.
You can also have your local sanitation department or waste collection take your mattress off your hands, as they have the means for handling larger objects. Be sure to check mattress disposal guides as they might have some useful info for you!
Did you know that 43 percent of email users will report spam if they do not recognize who the email is from?
What is Mailchimp?
Mailchimp is a software that manages many products for businesses and individuals.
While mainly used for email marketing, the Mailchimp platform offers other products and services like:
- Landing pages
- Signup forms
- Google remarketing ads
- Facebook ads
What is integration in email? Mailchimp’s integration tools allow you to combine many online tools onto one platform.
Mailchimp offers many integration options with your favorite software and apps. This integration makes working across online platforms easy. It also makes following the legal aspects of email policy a breeze.
The platform’s integrations include hubspot Mailchimp sync, Shopify, SurveyMonkey, and Copper. They offer over 150 more integration options.
When dealing with email marketing, spam is a common issue. Follow the terms and conditions to avoid your email communications appearing as spam.
Mailchimp is serious about its permissions settings. All users have to opt-in to receive email communications. Companies must also follow express legal language. For example, the opt-in feature can only ask one question at a time.
Their policy breaks down into their different users: Members, Contacts, and Visitors.
This section applies to the personal information from a member or potential member.
Information collected includes:
- Information provided by the member
- registration information
- billing information
- device information
- product usage data
Mailchimp uses this information to bill, send alerts, provide support, data analytics and more.
This section applies to the information of contacts’s uploaded by members.
Information collected includes:
- Information about contacts submitted by members
- Device information
- Product usage data.
Mailchimp uses this information to protect the rights and safety of members, meet legal requirements, provide lawful requests, data analytics and more.
This section applies to personal information that is uploaded through the website.
Information collected includes:
- Information provided on the website
- Information collected on other websites
You’ve Got Mail
Your home is your sanctuary unless you live in an apartment with a bad landlord. There are some apartment annoyances we all have to deal with, like the occasional loud neighbors.
But others aren’t so normal. You shouldn’t take a faulty eviction or refusal to repair your apartment in stride.
Learn when to hire a tenant lawyer and how to do it below.
You’re Being Evicted
Unless you know you’ve done something wrong, like not paid rent in months, you should fight your eviction. Evictions go on your record and they can stop you from getting safe living situations in the future.
An eviction hurts your credit score as well – so you want to do your best to get it reversed. Since you signed a lease, the landlord seems to have more power in this situation. That’s why you need a lawyer.
They can point out any loopholes, confusing language, or inconsistencies in the lease itself and your landlord’s argument.
Your Landlord Won’t Fulfill Their Duties
When you sign a lease for an apartment, there’s usually a clause about maintenance. It’s your duty to report any breaks or issues to the apartment complex, using whatever form they choose – learn more.
But if you report and nothing ever happens, that can put you in danger. There are stories of people in apartment complexes living with toxic mold, no air or heat, and pretty much anything else you can think of.
If your landlord won’t make repairs, it’s time to take them to court. Even if you don’t think it’s that big of a deal – you’re standing up for all the tenants who didn’t have the courage to in the past and you’re solving the problem for tenants in the future.
You’re Injured or Otherwise Damaged
If you’ve taken the necessary steps to alert your landlord to an issue and they don’t respond – that’s one thing. If that happens and it results in you getting hurt or sick – that’s another.
And we mean another type of lawsuit – both are times you should take this person to court.
Landlords have a legal duty to do basic maintenance. Like arranging to de-ice walkways or getting rid of a sickly tree. If they don’t do that, it’s a form of neglect and they need to be held responsible in court.
How to Hire a Landlord Tenant Lawyer
Now that you know when you should hire a lawyer, you need to know how.
Hiring a tenant lawyer is like hiring any other kind. You want to make sure they’re going to represent you well and honestly, and that they have experience arguing cases like yours.
Use a lawyer directory and look at a few of the choices. Read their testimonials and see what their intake process is like.
Many case-basis lawyers will have a free consultation, which you should take them up on. They’ll let you know if you have a case, to begin with.
If you don’t stand up for yourself where you live, how are you going to stand up for yourself anywhere else? If you didn’t do anything wrong and they did, they should be held accountable.
Don’t “just deal with it”. At least call a landlord tenant lawyer and get a consultation – you’ll be happy you did.
Want to learn more about this subject? Click here.
Yup. Every 43 seconds, a vehicle gets stolen in the USA according to data from the FBI. That number is insane, considering all the high-tech security alarms in cars and cities armed with millions of CCTV’s. But, car thieves seem to adapt to new technology as fast as security experts can think of them.
We know losing anything to thieves can be traumatic and devastating. If your car vanishes out of thin air, take a deep breath and collect yourself. We’ve prepared a list of steps you need to do before you can utter a guttural cry of “why me?”
Following these steps can help you put things in perspective.
1. Make sure Your Car was Actually Stolen
Before you freak out and panic, make sure that your car is really missing! Think about where you parked. Was it a few levels up or down? Could you have stationed in a different building altogether?
Parking lots have numbered “zones” painted on the floors, walls, and pillars (A-5, E-17). There’s a real chance you may have just forgotten exactly where you parked. Ask building security if they can help you track your car using the security video feed.
Lastly, did you let someone borrow your car?
2. Maybe You Got Towed?
Illegal parking can lead to parking tickets and your car getting towed. If you did a little curbside parking and your car isn’t in a spot where you parked, check with the impound lot first before calling the cops.
By checking the local impound, you won’t have to fill out a police report, which saves everybody time.
3. Go to the Police
If your initial search fails and there’s no trace of your car, it’s time to report the incident to the police. Make sure you give the officer all the vital details of your vehicle and the event. You should be ready with your car’s VIN number, make, model, year, color and any unique identifying marks like a custom paint job or decals.
Taking your car’s documentation with you is a good idea and can save you extra trips to the police station. You should also try to recall everything that happened on the day of the car theft. The date, time, location, weather, the people you met, etc. are critical.
4. Call the Insurance Company
After filing a police report, you need to call your insurance company to let them know that your car is missing. Get your policy number ready and fill the insurance adjuster in on precisely what happened. What you reported to the police would do.
Try to recall anything valuable inside the car when it got stolen. Your wallet, phone, laptop, designer sunglasses, house keys, documents, checkbooks, etc.
What you get out of your insurance claim will depend on your coverage.
5. Be Proactive
Call your bank if your credit cards are missing and change all the locks in your house if you left your house keys in the stolen car. Go online and search for your car on Craigslist and other used car sites. There’s a small chance your vehicle ends up for sale on the internet because there are a lot of people who prefer to buy a used car. Just don’t confront or meet up with the suspects. Tell the cops what you found.
After taking all the steps outlined above, all you can do is sit back and let the authorities handle the case as car theft is common in the USA. Remember that when you report a stolen car immediately after the theft, the chances of recovering it are higher.
Oh, and you can utter a guttural cry now 🙂
Are you or a loved one suffering from a disease, illness or injury that’s expected to last longer than a year or prevents you from working and earning a suitable income? If so, you might be eligible to apply for disability benefits.
Did you know that one in every 19 Americans earns disability benefits? Being disabled can take a tough toll on your life, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to support yourself.
But, applying for disability can be stressful, time-consuming and downright confusing at times. So, where do you even start in the application process?
These four tips on how to apply for disability will break down the application process so you can start earning money as soon as possible.
1. What’s the First Step?
Lengthy application processes can be daunting, but talking to your doctor about applying for disability benefits is the first step you should take during this process. They can provide you with the medical documentation that you’ll need to prove your disability is preventing you from working.
Having the proper medical documentation and a written statement about the complexity of your disability will give you a leg up in the application process and reduce chances of your application being delayed.
Make sure to get documentation from all doctors involved with your health and obtain proof of hospital visits and test results.
2. Where Can I Apply?
The most convenient way to apply for disability benefits is to apply online. This is because you don’t have to make an appointment, you can apply from the comfort of your home and you can do it on your own time. All you have to do is fill out a secured benefits application on the official website for social security administration.
You can also apply by calling the social security’s toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. If you’re hard of hearing, you can call TTY 1-800-325-0778. And, of course, there’s the option to call and make an appointment at your local social security office.
3. How Long Does an Application Take to Process?
If your application is filed perfectly with all of the proper documentation and medical records, you could be approved within just five months. However, there is the possibility that the government will need more documentation or your application can even get lost in the system.
If you aren’t awarded disability within the first five months after submitting your application, don’t give up. You could be granted back pay on top of your monthly benefits, which is a sum of money that you can be awarded if your application wasn’t approved in a timely manner.
4. What Happens If I’m Denied Disability Benefits?
Fortunately, it’s not the end of the road if you’re denied disability benefits. You can file an appeal where you will be asked to submit updated medical records, doctors visits, test, and treatments.
If you feel as if your case needs legal attention, there’s always the option to hire a specialized SSI attorney to get you on the right track. You can learn more about if an SSI attorney is the right option for your case.
How to Apply for Disability
Don’t let a daunting disability benefits application keep you away from the money you need to support your livelihood. With a little patience, education, and determination, you could be earning money again before you know it. Instead of asking yourself how to apply for disability, start by taking the first step of talking to your doctor to get yourself on track for benefits.
Take a look at our blog for more expert advice on hiring lawyers.
Paralegals, legal researchers, and attorneys are constantly buried by time-consuming tasks. Filling out endless paper work, researching for hours, wasting time that could go somewhere more important. . .
The good news is that there is a simple solution to this problem: outsourced legal services. Outsourcing can help firms stay agile, taking on more cases while still providing quality service.
To give your practice the edge it needs, we’ve put together 5 reasons why outsourcing services will give boost your practice.
1. Drive Down those Costs
Law firms often task their employees with completing mundane tasks related to a case. This can be discovery, filing paper work, and doing research. These tasks are time consuming and drive up the cost of a case.
Due to the cost of legal service providers, firms can get work done cheaply and quickly without sacrificing quality. This serves both the client and the firm, saving everyone time and money.
2. Focus on the Important Stuff
Serving your client to the best of your ability is the ultimate goal. But sometimes, completing mundane or simple tasks can get in the way of that goal.
Making sure the client gets the best experience is the only goal that matters. Outsourcing legal services lets your team to focus on what is important.
This is especially true when it comes to document translation services. If you outsource translation to a reputable interpreter, you can work on things you’re good at.
3. Talk to the Experts
No matter how smart you are, there will always be someone who knows more than you! But never fear: legal process outsourcing is here!
If your firm has a case that could use an expert’s opinion, find someone that can give you all the information you need by outsourcing. You can often outsource to many lawyers with areas of expertise for help on your case, such as immigration, estate planning, or legal document translation.
4. Outsourced Legal Services Save Time
Time is money—especially in law firms where the hourly rate can be very high. Outsourcing legal services can save your firm time (and money) when your employees don’t have time for a task.
It can also save money by having an entire team work on one task, rather than a small handful of employees.
For example, U.S.-based firms can cut down on turnaround time by hiring legal services vendors outside of the U.S. who will work on projects even when the firm isn’t open.
5. Stay Agile and Flexible
Another benefit of outsourcing legal services is that it allows your firm to take on any type of case.
For example, a smaller law firm may not be able to take a larger or more complex case based on their current work load. By outsourcing their legal services to legal vendors, small law firms can take on much larger cases with ease.
Lighten the Load
By using outsourced legal services, you can cut down on costs, save your employees time and energy, get expert opinions, and accept more cases. You can bring your firm to the next level, all while saving money and expanding your customer base.
If you have any questions about outsourcing your legal services, contact us to see what we can do to give your firm the edge it needs to excel.
Like many rules, it started with good intentions, but the rule that took effect under the Obama administration that forbids forced arbitration in nursing homes and assisted living facilities (ALF) comes with confusion. The Department of Health and Human Services initiated a ban against these facilities from forcing patients and their families to give up their right to sue, ensuring that they do not have to sign a clause before being permitted to stay in the nursing home or ALF.
The facts show that nursing home abuse and neglect is predominant across the country. When a family member or patient is forced to give up their right to sue, they are giving up part of their right to protection. That changed with the new rule against forced arbitration.
Here are 3 things you should keep in mind about this rule if you or a loved one is in one of these facilities.
3 Key Points About the New Rule Against Forced Arbitration in Nursing Homes
1. The rule has still not been fully implemented.
Nursing homes and healthcare industries are fighting this rule through lawsuits. Because of this, there is an injunction in place that has prevented the ban from becoming implemented.
During this time, a negligent nursing home may still be protected under their forced arbitration clause. If your loved one was a victim of neglect or abuse in a nursing home and you signed one of these clauses, you should contact an attorney who has experience with nursing home neglect cases.
2. Just because you can’t sue doesn’t mean you aren’t allowed rights.
CMS Medicare is in the process of revising the rule against forced arbitration. Instead of forbidding it, CMS has declared that the clause must be written in easily understandable language so that patients understand what they are signing.
However, even if you have to sign it to get your loved one into a nursing home or ALF, it doesn’t mean you can’t sue at all. It means that the facility gets to avoid a lengthy court battle by going directly into arbitration instead.
3. Not all mandatory arbitration clauses are legal.
Although the rules implemented during the Obama administration have not taken effect, and the Trump administration supports the policy of forced arbitration as a way to help long-term care facilities save on costs, that doesn’t mean the clause you signed was legal. Some of these clauses have been disputed and found to not hold up in a court of law. Talking to your nursing home abuse lawyer can help you determine if the clause you signed is legal.
Even with Forced Arbitration, You Still Have Rights
Nursing home abuse and neglect is a serious situation. If you have reason to suspect that your family member or loved one is the victim of this crime, you should contact a skilled nursing home abuse lawyer immediately. They will let you know your rights and the rights of your victim and walk you through your next steps.
While the field of law is very broad, there are some specializations regarding the law that can be very specific. For instance, a tax lawyer resolves national and state tax matters, while a litigator fights cases in courts and makes settlement negotiations. On the local, federal, and state levels, new case laws are being written every day. The old ones are being revised, and a lot of cases are being created and trying to be resolved.
Continuing your education isn’t mandatory in the legal field, but if you’re planning to pursue a career path of becoming a lawyer in a specific field, such as an entertainment lawyer, professional development and earning a degree in Masters of Law is important. University of Southern California is one of the universities that offers an entertainment law course.
What is entertainment law?
Entertainment law specifically impacts the entertainment industry. It’s a collection of different types of laws, which are related to the media and entertainment industry. It includes litigation and transaction laws, and also impacts the laws such as state and federal laws, common laws created on the court, and rules created by government agencies.
It’s not just for the talents that are performing in the entertainment industry; it can also be for the production and creation of entertainment content.
The following are the practices in entertainment law:
- Litigation – for torts, employment disputes, disagreements, and contract disputes
- Contact law – for contract drafts and negotiations
- Compliance law – compliance in different regulations in the communication in the entertainment industry
- Non-compete agreements – restricts a talent to work for a competing company
- Labor and employment – to make sure that staff and talents are following labor and employment laws, which include worker’s compensation, safety regulations, fair hiring practices, and maximum working hours allowed
Other practices involved in this law are about intellectual properties, businesses, taxation, security, and privacy.
What areas of the entertainment industry are covered by entertainment law?
Entertainment law covers different areas of the entertainment industry, which have their own specific policies, rules and regulations, agreements, and others. These include:
- Film – chain of title issues, talent agreements, copyright issues, and trademarks
- Multimedia – video game development productions, information technology law, software licensing
- Music – producer and talent agreements, and music industry negotiations
- Internet – copyright and trademark policies, and privacy issues
- Publishing – advertising, author agreements, models
- Television and radio – broadcast licensing, regulatory issues, and mechanical license
- Theatre – co-production agreement, rental agreement, performance-oriented issues
- Visual arts and design – consignment of artwork issues, sculptor’s moral rights, fine arts
Who are practicing entertainment law?
Both transactional and litigation lawyers are practicing entertainment law. However, most lawyers in entertainment law specialize in just one type of practice, since it’s more practical than doing both litigation and transactional law.
They can work as in-house counsel wherein the client is the employer, or as a private attorney who can have individual talents or corporate entities as clients.
Where is entertainment law being practiced?
Most entertainment lawyers can be found in Los Angeles, Nashville, and New York City since these cities provide more jobs to do, and a majority of production studios are operating in these areas.
Entertainment lawyers can still practice outside these cities; however, work can be limited. Unlike in the past, a lot of production in the entertainment industry takes place in minor cities today. Other entertainers, local bands, radio talents, and television talents residing in their city also need entertainment lawyers on their side. Although entertainment lawyers won’t get to practice full-time outside major cities, they can still handle entertainment cases for their litigation and transactional law practice.
The importance of entertainment law
Entertainment lawyers can fill several roles, which depend on what their specialization is and what their clients need. Here are some of their functions, which also show their significance in the industry:
- Review legal documents such as licensing agreements, recording agreements, bank loans, appearance release, investments, and sponsorship deals
- Work on financial agreements
- Prepare form agreements
- Facilitate deals in distribution
- Negotiate and draft contracts
- Ensure that their clients understand the documents they’re signing
- Protect clients’ interests
- Can be liaisons to connect entertainers or talents with networks, venues, agents, and professional associations
- Can defend their clients regarding their intellectual property rights
Other than those listed above, they can also assist or give recommendations about their clients’ budgets. They can be helpful in advising their clients about the serious financial and legal consequences of the projects they’ll accept.
Practicing entertainment law can be a fast-paced and challenging career that provides a rewarding and steady job. Lawyers can include entertainment law cases as a part of a wider practice or just focus on entertainment law exclusively. Entertainment law has something to offer, whether you prefer drafting documents, pouring over regulations, or being in the courtroom.
Starting a small business can change your life for the better, allowing you to take control of your own destiny and to build your reputation in the local community and beyond. If you’re particularly lucky, you can turn it into a family business and get your partner or your children involved.
At the same time, though, it isn’t always easy. There are specific legal requirements that you need to adhere to which can change from region to region, and if you find yourself falling foul of them, you could be in for a fine – or worse!
And so without further ado, here are five steps to starting a business for those who are worried about legalities and compliance. Let’s get started.
5 Legal Requirements for Starting a Small Business
1. Do you need help?
If you’re struggling, think back to when you were a student and you got college assignment help. Now it’s time for you to seek legal help! Hiring a lawyer or even just a business expert can save you a lot of time in the long run because you can make sure that everything is in order right from the very beginning.
2. Can you use the name?
One of the earliest things that people tend to do when starting out is to come up with a name for their company. Just remember that one of the most basic legal requirements for starting a small business is to make sure that you’re legally allowed to use the name. Make sure that nobody else has copyrighted key terms and consider copyrighting them yourself.
3. Have you sorted your tax?
In the United States, your business will need to comply with federal, state and local tax laws, while in the UK you’ll need to register either as self-employed or as a limited company, business partnership or social enterprise. Make sure that you’re registered and that you know how much tax you need to pay so you can save up and pay on time accordingly. To do that successfully, you’ll have to either hire an accountant or do the accounting by yourself. With the use of software, you can easily sync all your transactions from your CRM or POS system (if you have one).
4. What are the local employment laws?
While you may be planning to start out with just yourself, if your business grows then you’ll eventually find yourself taking on other employees to help you with the workload. If that’s the case, you’ll need to make sure that you’re in full compliance with any laws that cover your area. Of course, it’s also in your best interests to be an honest employer because word spreads and if you treat employees unfairly, no one will want to work for or with you.
5. Do you have the right licenses?
In many cases, you’ll require certain permits and licenses if you want to do business. The same goes for if you need to obtain permission to use certain patents and even images. For example, you may require the licenses to use imagery in your social networking presence or to include the logos of a company whose products you stock.
Now you know how to legally start a business, the next step is for you to make your dreams a reality. Carve out some time to follow the steps to starting a business that we’ve shared with you, but make sure that you’re ready for the commitment required before you get started.
Being able to legally create a business is one thing, but to make it sustainable is another. Spend some time reading articles and how-to guides and be sure to perfect your business plan so that you get started with the most solid foundation possible. Good luck.
Bryan Davis is a freelance writer and registered business owner. He writes about his successes and failures in the hope that he can stop other people from repeating his mistakes. He believes that anyone can be a businessperson and prides himself on the fact that he helps people to reach their full potential.
Family mediation is a positive, forward-thinking and confidential process that resolves personal and professional disputes using a non-biased third party to help facilitate a mutually and satisfactory outcome.
Most people will have minimal contact with the legal system. But, in the situation where they do there may be many questions asked. It’s a very stressful situation when a couple are going through a separation or divorce. Their lives that they have lived together has dramatically changed and there will be many concerns about property, money and children.
Family mediation is now becoming the fastest growing method of resolving family disputes. Often agreeing things without the help of a third-party mediator isn’t an easy process as you try to make arrangements for the future. THB Legal can help you resolve differences in many respects including child arrangements, separation, divorce and relationship difficulties.
Family mediation give the participants involved the opportunity to discuss all possible options in a neutral and safe practicing environment before coming to a mutually agreed arrangement. During the process, either party remain in total control and no arrangement or decision will be forcibly imposed. Family mediators are highly skilled in helping separating partners explore all possible options thoroughly by exploring the advantages and disadvantages of each proposal made towards either party. A mediator nor the parties involved would be able to determine whether a suggestion was fair or not unless all of the cards were laid on the table.
Mediation that deals with property and finance is facilitated on the basis that there is full financial disclosure from each party. Only then can the mediation process begin. The sole reason for this is that the financial disclosures set the context of the process itself and the prospective proposals made by either party. Family mediation is a far more time efficient service and less expensive than litigation especially when there are financial issues involved.
The THB Legal Family Mediation Process
The first step in the process is to attend a mediation information and assessment meeting (often called a MAIM) with a specially qualified family mediator. The three aims of a MAIM are –
- Explain the alternatives including mediation compared to the court processes that are available for separating couples.
- To give you the opportunity to decide on what route you think will be best for your relationship breakdown and what is involved in the breakdown. For example, children, financial and property issues.
- To explore and determine whether using a family mediation service would be a safe and effective way to resolve your dispute in your circumstances.
During the MAIM you will be able to ask the mediator any questions that you might have regarding the service. If you do decide that family mediation is the right process for you then the mediator will contact your ex-partner and invite them to attend their own MAIM to discuss the process with them. During this session, mediators are also able to offer legal aid mediation.
What Happens after a Mediation Information and Assessment Meeting?
Upon seeing both parties, the mediator will then arrange a joint session. The number of sessions typically depend on the number of issues that need to be resolves but normally between 2 – 6 sessions and lastly for 1 – 2 hours.
During these sessions, you and your ex-partner will express your views and concerns to each other and to the mediator. The mediator who is not biased to either party will then help you focus on what needs to be done to forward and more importantly how it can be done. Once an agreement how been made between both of the parties then this will be recorded by the mediator just so you are both clear on what the agreement includes and prevent any confusion once the mediation process concludes. Its important to highlight that once an agreement has been made, you may need to have the agreement in question put into writing so that it would be a legal binding agreement but this typically depends on the complexity of the dispute.
It is vital that if you do have any concerns about any agreement made during the mediation process then you are free to seek legal advice so you know what can be enforced by law.
When the relationship between two parent’s breakdown it is normally their utmost priority to make arrangements for the children involved. Above all else that’s involved in a separation, you and your ex-partner are no longer together but you are still and always will be parents to the same children. We believe that the best people to decide a child’s future is the parents and we are here to help you make future arrangements that are in their best interests.
Research has also shown that children can be more adversely affected by the uncertainty of their parent’s separation rather than the separation itself. Mediation helps to improve a productive level of communication between parents will enable them to move forward with an organised and working relationship for the future. These plans that are formulated by mutual consent can help restore trust between parents and help them move on emotionally but also practically with children in mind.