If you are getting divorced in California, you will go through the mediation process, whether you choose to or the courts order you to. Mediation can be a faster, more peaceful way to resolve divorce-related matters than litigation, and it can allow parties to maintain more control over the outcome.

That said, you can expect to play an active role in the process, so it is wise to prepare yourself for the mediation process. Below are a few tips for how you can do this.

Gather your paperwork

Information can be one of the best tools you have in mediation, as it allows you to make informed decisions about what you want and deserve. As such, you should gather paperwork, including:

  • Financial data, including bank statements, tax returns and asset inventory
  • Detailed accounts of parenting time and responsibilities
  • A copy of any premarital or postnuptial agreement you may have

Having this type of information at your mediation sessions can provide legitimacy to any arguments you may make and give you reference points for negotiations.

Brush up on your negotiation skills

Mediation typically involves negotiation. You may go back and forth over custody agreements, spousal support or the division of marital property. Be prepared to negotiate, and consider ways to improve your skills in this area. Articles like this one from Forbes provide some helpful tips.

Reach out for help

While mediation is about divorcing parties working together to reach resolutions, you do not have to go through the process alone. You can talk to a financial professional about the economic elements of your divorce; a counselor can help you address any emotional or personal elements with which you may be struggling. Legal guidance from an experienced attorney can be essential in navigating the mediation process and working toward an acceptable outcome.

Taking these steps to prepare for mediation can make the process go more smoothly and give you the confidence to pursue the resolutions you deserve.