When most imagine a weekend getaway, they think of a romantic setting for two with happy couples strolling about hand in hand. Annapolis happens to be one of those places where such visits happen. That notion is being turned on its head, however, by purveyors of a concept in which the weekend getaway is a venue for couples to hash out their divorce and family law battles. They call it the "Divorce Hotel."
Luxury accommodations, lawyers and divorce; these are a few of the components of the new phenomenon known as the Divorce Hotel. Here, couples check in on Friday and leave Sunday with divorce papers in hand. The hotel includes almost anything a couple could need to get their divorce in order, including lawyers, psychologists and mediators. The providers insist that typically contentious issues such as property division, child custody and child support can be worked out in just three days.
While only currently offered in the Netherlands, the founder plans to bring Divorce Hotel to the United States, where the divorce rate is rather high. It is unlikely to find its way to Maryland, which requires a one-year waiting period before a divorce can be finalized.
Divorces can be costly and time consuming. Promoters of the hotel process say it will cut out a lot of that time, and they claim the price is reasonable. Depending on each unique situation, the cost can range anywhere from $2500 to $10,000, depending on the details of each case, including whether there is a child custody battle involved.
While the concept may be seen by some skeptics as somewhat negative, the founders insist the effects on the couples who attend seem to be quite the opposite. Often, they say, couples come to the hotel angry with each other and leave realizing this is a quick solution and a way to start over in a positive manner.
The founder notes, however, that the hotel only allows for a positive outcome if both parties cooperate. Those individuals who insist on being childish and cutthroat about their divorce probably need to continue down the traditional divorce process path.
The founder of Divorce Hotel has such high hopes for his program that he even hopes it will catch fire and become a reality TV show in the future.
Source: ABC News, "'Divorce Hotel' offers weekend escape," Katie Moisse, May 29, 2012