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Divorce Hotel Specializes in Ending Marriages
Hotels are usually associated with happy memories—a family vacation at the beach, a destination wedding in the Caribbean, a romantic weekend for two. But one man believes they may be the ideal location for ending a marriage as well.
The New York Times recently published an article about the Divorce Hotel, a concept developed by Dutch entrepreneur Jim Halfens, that allows for a feuding couple to check into a hotel for the weekend, work with lawyers and mediators, and leave with divorce papers in hand—all for a one-time flat fee.
Halfens has worked a deal with six hotels in the Netherlands to act as Divorce Hotels, although these properties seem reluctant to reveal their identities. Couples stay in separate rooms, a suite is used for mediation talks, and hotel staff members are clued in to the delicate situation of these particular guests. If all goes according to plan, the couples manage to leave with all the paperwork signed, ready for an amicable appearance in court to finish the process. So far, seventeen couples have participated in the program, and all but one couple has left the hotels ready to call it quits for good.
The cost of this service ranges between $3,500 to $10,000, depending on the complexity of the couple's relationship and financial arrangements.
Getting a divorce together in just one weekend seems almost unheard of in America, where divorces, especially those where large sums of money or property are concerned, tend to drag on for months. The process is usually painful and expensive due to hiring lawyers and paying court fees, not to mention all the emotional turmoil and stress that is present when ending a marriage.
Halfens came up with the idea after seeing his friend go through a painful divorce. He wanted to simplify the process, and figured the Divorce Hotel could provide couples with a destination, on neutral territory, to negotiate and get the proceedings over with as quickly and painlessly as possible.
And America may see Divorce Hotels popping up in the near future. Halfens is allegedly in talks with several hotels in New York and Los Angeles to partner with Divorce Hotel. He also happens to be working with production companies to try and put together a reality television show where couples going through Divorce Hotel would be filmed. After all, there's nothing quite like profiting off of other people's pain. According to the NY Times' article, the show may debut as early as this fall if it gets the green light from a network.
Of course, this concept seems incredibly impractical to us, especially since most couples headed for divorce rarely want to see each other, let alone stay in a hotel together. We also imagine few Divorce Hotel users would return to the property in the future as vacationing guests.
Do you think the Divorce Hotel concept could actually work in America?
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