You may have heard that you need to prepare a mountain of paperwork in order to begin your divorce. This probably sounds like an overwhelming task. The good news is that divorce mediation simplifies the paperwork process. Instead of having two attorneys who want to examine every possible document from the marriage for litigation purposes, a divorce mediator asks a series of questions to determine exactly which documents are needed to fulfill court requirements and to sort out the issues. To begin mediation, you do not need any documents at all. During the first session, the mediator will find out from both parties what kinds of financial and legal issues are at stake. Then, the mediator will provide each party with a simple checklist of documents that are needed. If you want to get a head start on gathering these documents, you can start with the last three years of tax returns as well as recent statements from bank accounts, credit cards, loans and retirement accounts.