Barbara J. Katzenberg, Attorney at Law
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Divorce Hotel: fact or fiction?

Imagine that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse check in on Friday to a high-end resort hotel in Boston, spend the weekend (not in the same room) and with the help of a mediator and a lawyer, leave on Sunday with your divorce papers in hand. For this, you are charged a flat fee and only need to show your documentation to a judge for your divorce to be finalized. Fact or fiction?

Fact -- if you live in the Netherlands. The divorce mediation in a weekend plan is the brainchild of a divorced entrepreneur who would like to bring his idea of a Divorce Hotel to the United States. How could this work, you might ask?

According to a news source, the Divorce Hotel offers couples an almost one-stop-shopping approach to working through their divorce. Each spouse has his or her own room, and they come together with a mediator to discuss the details of their divorce including child custody and division of property. Independent lawyers draft the agreements and everyone is free to live singly ever after.

Apparently this has worked successfully for 17 couples. Only one couple left at the end of the weekend without completed divorce documents.

Professionals in the U.S. believe that this concept would only work in the simplest of cases. In instances with significant property, or child custody disputes, a weekend would not be enough time to complete the tasks at hand. Mediation however, is a viable option that can save couples time and money in the long run, in addition to minimizing the discord between the parties.

The budding 33-year-old entrepreneur is not deterred however, and he plans to open a Divorce Hotel in several cities including New York and Los Angeles. There was no report as to whether or not Boston is on the list.

Source: New York Times, "Quick getaways, at the Divorce Hotel," Janet Morrissey, May 26, 2012

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