Could quickie divorces be making their way to the United States?

On behalf of Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC posted in Divorce on Wednesday, May 30, 2012.

While there are places to go in the United States to get married quickly, there may soon be a place to get divorced over a weekend. With divorce rates remaining high, a new idea in the Netherlands may be making its way to the United States. The concept is called the Divorce Hotel, where a married couple checks in on a Friday, works with mediators and independent lawyers on Saturday and then the couple checks out on Sunday with their divorce papers in hand, all for a set fee.

So far 17 couples have tried it and only one couple left without a divorce in hand. This might be a good option if your situation is:

  • One where your financial arrangements are straightforward.
  • The divorce is mutual and there is no animosity.

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 involve more complex issues such as property or business holdings, stock options, child custody/support and in some cases alimony.

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.

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.

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 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

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