| |Couples on romantic weekend getaways tend to make a spur-of-the-moment decision to get married. And it is for this reason that several hotels, especially in places like Vegas, provide wedding chapel services. If getting married could be that easy, then why the long-drawn out process for a divorce? Well apparently, not anymore. It is now possible to get divorced over a weekend getaway too, thanks to the Divorce Hotel.
The concept of Divorce Hotel was developed by entrepreneur Jim Halfens, in the Netherlands. In a country where the average divorce settlement could be very heavy on the pocket and take months to complete, Halfens spotted a great business opportunity that could make things easier for parting couples. So all they need to do is check in at the Divorce Hotel over a weekend and all the necessary legal documentation to end their marriage is arranged for them. The service includes a mediator and a series of lawyers who help the couple split assets, arrange visitation rights and agree on alimony payments, all at a fixed fee.
So a couple that walks in married, can walk out two days later, completely divorced. Well, not all together completely. According to Dutch law, their agreement needs to be presented to a judge and the final approvals could take a couple of weeks to come through. Nevertheless, the concept certainly is great to be able to get decisions made and all the paperwork done in just two days. For now, Halfens uses high-end boutique hotels in various parts of the country, such as the Carlton Ambassador Hotel in The Hague. According to their sales manager, Ninke Bons, couples check in together, but they tend to stay in separate rooms. The staff do try to handle these customers with special care, keeping an eye on them to make sure they are okay. “We would normally enquire if a guest enjoyed their stay at the hotel. Well, obviously that’s not very appropriate in the case of the Divorce Hotel,” he says.
While a divorce hotel may not be suitable for squabbling couples who cannot even stand to be around each other, some do enjoy the hassle-free experience. Some of them even go out into the city and have a good time when they’re not discussing the divorce. The innovative concept has garnered some interest among TV folks as well, for a reality show or a documentary series. Well, picture this – a couple checks in to Divorce Hotel, but ends up falling in love all over again during the weekend vacation. Now wouldn’t that be a great story?
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