Divorce Hotel in the Netherlands Offers a Weekend Program for Couples Who Want a Speedy Split-Up
Is America ready for a Divorce Hotel? Jim Halfens, a Dutch entrepreneur, wants to bring this unique idea and Dutch import to the United States. The concept of the Divorce Hotel is to have couples who have decided to divorce check in on Friday married, then check out on Sunday with divorce papers in hand for a flat fee, all with the expert help of mediators and independent lawyers. Six Divorce Hotels are already used in the Netherlands, and 17 couples have tried it so far with all but one leaving divorce-ready. Halfens, who is helping “unhappy marrieds divorce en suite,” is currently negotiating with hotels and law firms in several major U.S. cities to make Divorce Hotels available to U.S. couples. He is also in talks with two television production companies to make a Divorce Hotel reality show.
Halfens came up with the idea for the Divorce Hotel after watching a college friend go through a painful divorce, eventually creating one of these unique hotels using his marketing background and brief experience with a law firm. Halfens later struck agreements with six high-end hotels in the Netherlands. Divorce Hotel guests stay in separate rooms and a suite is used for mediation talks. The fee for this weekend divorce getaway can range from $3,500 to $10,000, depending on the complexity of a pair’s financial arrangements. Child custody battles or a twosome with more complex financial arrangements, such as stock options, may be more costly, with fees that may exceed $100,000 per party.
The question remains: could a Divorce Hotel really work stateside? One divorce attorney states that more couples are moving toward mediation and arbitration to end their union because courts are so backed up with cases, particularly when things like child custody are not at stake. However, another American divorce attorney feels that though it is a great gimmick, a weekend divorce wouldn’t be practical for most couples and is unlikely to work for more complicated cases. Halfens asserts that only one out of every three couples who apply for the program are accepted, and his team tries to ensure that both parties want to divorce and are willing to work with a mediator.
Whether a couple decides to divorce in a weekend at a boutique hotel or goes the traditional route in the courtroom, a divorce can be a very stressful, challenging time for any pair. If you are in Pennsylvania and in need of assistance with your divorce, seeking the help of an experienced Montgomery County divorce attorney who can answer all of your questions and protect your best interests will make the divorce process much simpler. To discuss your divorce case with family law attorney Sheryl R. Rentz, call (610) 645-0100 to schedule a no-cost consultation.