Family Law Mediation

According to Florida Statute, Mediation is a process whereby a neutral third person called a Mediator acts to encourage and facilitate the resolution of a dispute between two or more parties. It is an informal and non-adversarial process with the objective of helping the disputing parties reach a mutually acceptable and voluntary agreement.


The following aspects of mediation are what make it such a successful process:

Mediation is confidential

Except under limited circumstances, mediation is part of settlement negotiations, and therefore, the negotiations are confidential. The offers made at mediation cannot be used against either party in a future hearing. The reason mediation is confidential is to encourage parties to negotiate and do their best in reaching their own resolution.

Mediation is required

Parties are required to attend mediation prior to trial. Although Judges are always prepared to hear and rule on a matter, they would prefer that the parties resolve their own issues when possible. As a result, mediation is mandatory.

Mediator is neutral

The Mediator is not your Judge and not your advocate. The Mediator’s purpose is to assist the parties in reaching an acceptable solution to their matter. The Mediator does not argue either party’s positions and does not make a binding recommendation.

Mediation is economical

On the surface, mediation seems like an expensive day when you consider paying the hourly rates of potentially two attorneys, two accountants and a mediator. However, magical things tend to happen when all the parties are present in the same location and that one day of negotiations saves the parties substantial amounts of money (and sanity) by avoiding future litigation.

Mediation is learning

Even when two sides cannot reach an agreement, they often can learn each other’s positions and differences which may lead to an agreement in the future.


hoosing the right mediator is crucial. Attributes of a strong mediator include knowledge of the law, knowledge of financial issues, ability to communicate, creativity and proper temperament. These are all attributes of Jonathan Stief. Jonathan is a former family law attorney and is still a licensed attorney in the State of Florida. In addition, Jonathan is a Florida Supreme Court Family Law Mediator and has participated in hundreds of mediations.

What separates Jonathan from other mediators is Jonathan’s background as a Certified Public Accountant, including his Certification in Financial Forensics, his professional designation by the AICPA as Accredited in Business Valuation and his identification by the AICPA as a Personal Financial Specialist. There are mediators who are accountants. There are mediators who are attorneys. Jonathan is both. Jonathan’s diverse background allows him to assess both legal and financial issues and think outside the box so that a resolution at mediation is more likely.

You can wait, and possibly retain Stief & Castro’s services later as you prepare for trial, or you can call Jonathan Stief today so that we can help you resolve your case now.

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