In retrospect, I look at how long my ex-wife set me up for alimony.
It started when she refused to get a job even when all the kids were in school. I am sure looking back that she was coached by an attorney (in her case a man hating lesbian) on what to do.
Of course, after she filed for divorce, she stated she was unable to maintain a job. That's when you get tagged for temporary support and this sets the stage for alimony. Be careful with this amount! She needed to be retrained to enter the workplace. I guess if she wanted to be a doctor, she would need support for 10 years.
One week after the settlement, she found a job working for her brothers making minimum wage. She lasted a year in college with a part time schedule. I really don't blame her. I blame myself, my lawyer and most of all the system.
I would tell anybody going into mediation to have total amount of money that you know you can afford in mind. If your spouse comes back with a much higher amount than your amount, offer your max as a final amount and if they don't accept it be willing to walk. Don't waste time going back and forth.
If you are a man you will probably be paying opposing counsel, your attorney and the mediator. It is better to walk out than get stuck with a bad settlement. As my new attorney says "you mediated a settlement that was worse than your worst day in court."