Is divorce the new dream vacation?

Divorce, Bizarre, NakedLaw, News, Relationships

The couple checks into their swanky, upscale hotel and reviews their weekend agenda: couples spa special, dinner at 8:00, turndown service…and a divorce.

Anyone who’s gone through one would be hard pressed to imagine a world where you can take care of the whole divorce ordeal over the course of three days. Well, a new breed of hotels just might make that a reality: Check in with your spouse on a Friday; check out on Sunday free as a bird ready to hit Tinder.

Leave it to the Europeans to come up with the ultimate “quickie” divorce, the creation of Dutch company DivorceHotel. The Dutch hotel, which boasts a 98% success rate, may have invented the concept, but a number of hotels offering the service are now sprouting up; a location in Sweden is set to open in spring 2016.

The entire divorce package at the U.S. version of the “Divorce Hotel” (better known as Gideon Putnam Resort and Spa in Saratoga Springs, NY) is $5,000. With the typical divorce running about $20,000, this couldn’t come at a better time. The hotel aims for each divorce to be done “quickly, skillfully and affordably.” Your $5,000 gets you two nights at the hotel, a lawyer for each party, a mediator to write up the paperwork, and a welcome basket complete with goodies.

While the idea initially seems ripe for a Saturday Night Live skit, the innkeepers might be on to something. The hotels take two of the scariest unknowns out of the process: how much it will cost and how long it will take.

Instead of dragging out a divorce for a year (or more), getting everything hashed out over a weekend—free from the distractions of friends and family—can bring some welcome closure. And for something that can carry the emotional impact of a death in the family, cutting down the timeframe and speeding up the healing is good for everyone.

Will this work in all cases? Not even close. For example, take the hedge fund billionaire Ken Griffin, who just settled with his wife, Anne, after filing in July of 2014. Couples with that kind of wealth (he’s worth $7 billion) will continue to slug it out publicly. For those with a more straightforward, less contentious divorce, this concept could be just what’s needed. Seasoned divorce lawyers can then work on the more complicated cases that take some untangling.

While the divorce rate actually continues to drop, contrary to popular belief, it’s still a life-changing event that wreaks havoc on couples and families, so anything that can improve the process is a win. The DivorceHotel will probably never become a dream vacation, but a spa treatment while deciding who gets to keep the house wouldn’t suck either.

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