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End your marriage at the “divorce hotel”

What if you could complete the legal process of divorce in one quick and easy weekend? Certainly, many Las Vegas couples would be overjoyed if that were the case. Well, that may soon be a reality: the “divorce hotel” will likely come to the United States within the next few months.

For couples who are slogging through the often-long and frustrating process of divorce, the idea probably sounds like a dream. Couples check in on Friday, where they are shown to their separate rooms (with a third neutral space for mediation and negotiation). Over the course of the weekend, they meet with attorneys, financial advisors, family therapists and other family law professionals, who help them reach an agreement and complete the necessary legal documents.

On Sunday, they leave the hotel with completed divorce papers in hand, and once a family court judge approves them, the divorce is final.

But is the divorce hotel too good to be true? Many family law attorneys think so. Divorce is often a highly emotional time, one lawyer says, “and the notion they’re not going to spend two days with each other at some fancy hotel seems to be not to be a very likely scenario. Most people getting divorced don’t want to see each other again except when they have to.”

The creator of the divorce hotel acknowledges the fact that only couples who are still on friendly terms, and who do not have highly complicated issues involving property or children are the best candidates for the divorce hotel. In fact, couples are put through a lengthy application process before they are approved for a weekend at the hotel. But of the 18 couples who have thus far gone through the process, 17 went home on Sunday with divorce papers completed and ready to put before a judge.

What do you think? Would you go to a divorce hotel?

Source: New York Times, “Quick Getaways, at the Divorce Hotel,” Janet Morrissey, May 26, 2012

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