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Couples may soon divorce during a weekend hotel stay

Divorce can be a costly and time consuming process. Complicated divorces involve numerous issues and courts must attempt to divide the divorcing couples' property, determine support obligations and arrange for child custody and visitation. A Netherlands program that attempts to simplify the process may be coming to the U.S.

Rhode Island residents going through a divorce will be interested to learn about the Divorce Hotel. The Divorce Hotel is a program which offers divorces that are quicker and cheaper than most divorces. The program allows couples to complete the divorce process in a short period of time rather than dragging it out for several weeks or months. The program charges couples a flat fee between $3,500 and $10,000 depending on the complexity of the couple's financial arrangements.

Couples stay at a hotel in separate rooms and suites are used for mediation talks. The program provides legal advice and mediators that work with couples through the issues of alimony, property division and child visitation arrangements over their stay. The "hotel" staff members know why the couple is there and are specifically instructed not to wish the couple a nice weekend. The only thing a couple has to do once they leave Divorce Hotel is submit their divorce papers to the courts.

The founder of the idea has run his business in partnership with a number of foreign hotels since its launch and is in talks with New York and Los Angeles Hotels to expand his business. The concept has even caught the interest of two US TV production companies who have expressed interest in creating a reality series around the concept.

Source: Huffington Post, "Divorce Hotel: Founder Jim Halfens Dishes on Hotel," Natasha Burton, June 11, 2012

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