The initial intake consultation with the divorce mediator / family mediator lasts for about one hour. During that session, the parties will learn about the process of mediation. The mediator reviews the process, answers questions, and conducts an intake of information relating to the parties, and their children, as well as income, expense, property and debt information. An agenda of topics will be formulated. Emergency or pressing conflicts are often addressed first. The divorce mediator will explain the rules relating to fees prior to the session. You will be given the "Orientation and Fee Agreement to Participate in Mediation" form for your review and signature prior to the commencement of the initial divorce mediation. At the conclusion of a mediation session, the mediator and the parties determine the necessary preparation for the following session or discuss how a formal Separation and Marital Property Settlement will be completed. The parties continue each mediation session for approximately 2 to 3 hours and typically 2-3 sessions are necessary to address all issues. Hotly contested child custody or spousal alimony issues may take longer, as may complex financial issues.