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'Divorce Hotel' Update: U.S. Locations, Book, TV Show All in the Works

Back in October 2011, I wrote here about a new concept called Divorce Hotel, an Amsterdam-based company where "couples check in on Friday, and on Sunday, their marriage is over." In short, at Divorce Hotel

you and your hopefully soon-to-be-ex spouse pay about $3,500 to check into a five-star resort on a Friday. The two of you will spend the weekend meeting with Divorce Hotel's on-site team of attorneys, counselors and mediators, who are there to help you execute a "clean, cost-effective divorce." 

In the months since that post, Divorce Hotel has reached agreements with six high-end hotels in the Netherlands, and is now preparing to take its concept to the United States. The New York Times reports that Divorce Hotel is now negotiating with hotels in several U.S. cities, including New York and Los Angeles -- as well as with television production companies that are interested in creating a Divorce Hotel reality show.

American divorce lawyers told the Times that most breakups are too complicated and acrimonious to fit the Divorce Hotel model, where the couple works things out in a hotel room over the weekend. Divorce lawyer Robert S. Cohen said that the model might work, however, if the couple involved remained friends and had a straightforward financial situation. 

Indeed, Jim Halfens, who started Divorce Hotel after seeing a friend go through a painful divorce, acknowledges that the model will not work for everyone and that

only one of every three couples that apply for his program is accepted. His team tries to ensure that both parties want to divorce and are willing to work with a mediator. If the couple is bickering or barely speaking to each other, or if greed or vengeance seems to be a motivation, the couple is rejected.

If your marriage is still solid or if it is too much of a lost cause for you to be a good Divorce Hotel candidate, you can still check out Halfens' book about Divorce Hotel (coming next year) or wait for the TV show that is planned for this fall. The Times reports that production companies are eager to produce a television show around the concept. "These are real people getting real divorces -- or at least attempting to get real divorces -- and it has all of the human drama of this significant process all condensed down into a very short period of time," said Mickey Stern, co-chief executive of Base Productions. "Divorce Hotel is as real as it gets. If there's a conflict, it's real because the stakes are real."

Posted by Bruce Carton on May 31, 2012 at 04:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)

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