When you hear that someone is getting a divorce a few things come to mind: the length of the process and the division of assets. But what if there was a way to get a divorce finalized over the course of a weekend, would you do it? A new concept is becoming popular in the Netherlands and it may be making its way to the United States. It's called the Divorce Hotel, where a married couple checks in on a Friday, works with mediators and independent lawyers on Saturday and the couple checks out on Sunday with their divorce papers in hand, all for a set fee.
So far 17 couples from the Netherlands have tried it and only one couple left without a divorce in hand.
There are those who feel that most divorces are too complicated to be resolved over a weekend and this might not be an option for everyone. Many divorces do involve more complex issues such as property or business holdings, stock options, child custody/support and in some cases alimony. The Divorce Hotel claims that it can handle more complex divorces, but it may cost you more money.
When couples come to the Divorce Hotel, they stay in separate rooms and a suite is used for mediation. Fees for the weekend stay range from $3,500 to $10,000 depending on the complexity of the couple's financial situation. Divorces in the United States can cost between $5,000 and $20,000 and can be more depending on the complexity of the divorce.
According to the National Center for State Courts, more than 1.2 million people in the United States filed for divorce in 2009 and divorce is big business. The founder of the Divorce Hotel feels that this is an untapped market and many people would like to get their divorce over in a weekend without the emotional feelings dragging on for months.
Also, not everyone can get into the Divorce Hotel. There is an application process and only one out of three couples is accepted. Both parties must be willing to divorce and are willing to work with a mediator. If a couple is not on civil terms, their application is automatically rejected.
While divorce is never easy, if it's agreed upon by both parties and it's relatively easy from a financial standpoint, then the Divorce Hotel might be a good option for people in the United States.
Source: The New York Times, "Quick Getaways, at the Divorce Hotel," Janet Morrissey, May 26, 2012