Dutch entrepreneur Jim Halfens has launched the "Divorce
Hotel", a service that enables couples to check into a
five-star hotel for a weekend and negotiate the terms of their
divorce over the course of the weekend.
So far, the service is proving successful for couples in the
Netherlands and Mr Halfens has plans to expand into other countries
including the US.
According to the website, divorcehotel.com, the service
involves a weekend of negotiations and mediation in a special hotel
suite with divorce lawyers and other professionals such as tax and
finance experts, psychologists, real estate agents and whoever else
may be required to resolve any issues. Sounds like a fun weekend
Once the negotiations are finalised and a decision is reached,
the parties involved receive official papers at the end of the
weekend outlining the resolution which are then presented to a
Court. Within a week or so, the Court ratifies the documents and
the couple's divorce is finalised.
The basic foundations of 'Divorce Hotel' lie in a
couples' ability to negotiate an agreement in much the same way
as we use collaborative family law methods...only in a more
intense, and condensed, negotiation period. Kind of like
collaborative law on steroids!
Obviously this system won't work for every couple - I
can't see Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes reaching an agreement
while spending a weekend with their legal teams in Palm Springs for
Nor can I see it working for couples with complex financial and
emotional issues to resolve, or if there has been a history of
It does however support the notion that collaborative family law
(negotiation by the parties involved with the help of their
lawyers) is a useful tool for many couples. And it can be done
relatively quickly and cost-effectively, without the need to spend
an entire weekend holed up with your ex-partner and a team of
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