Dutch firm creates 'Divorce Hotel' service
A Dutch entrepreneur has offered couples the chance of a weekend away with a difference - by staying in a hotel where he will help them finalise their divorce.
Jim Halfens' 'Divorce Hotel' allows pairs intent on breaking up to get quick divorces by staying for two days in their accommodation and coming out as two all-but-separated people.
The Netherlands-based firm aim to talk couples through alimony, splitting assets, visitation rights for children and any other outstanding marital issues to help finalise a divorce.
Their two-day process of drawing together documentation by having the two parties, lawyers, and mediators all in the same hotel for a weekend aims to quicken a process which can normally be drawn out for weeks or months.
The concept was created by Jim Halfens, whose website says the company offers 'an affordable 5-star divorce made-to-measure'.
Mr Halfens uses high-end hotels around the country, putting up the couple in separate rooms (if they wish) and providing mediators and legal advice for a set fee.
Once the divorcing couple leave the hotel at the end of their stay, the only thing left to do is show the agreement to a judge, as required in Dutch law, which can take a couple of weeks.
The company assesses couples when they apply for the service, to make sure they are suitable for the process and not caught up in a bitter dispute.
It then ensures both parties' wellbeing during the stay.
Mr Halfens said he was inspired to create the company after watching a college friend go through a painful separation.
He told the New York Times: 'He was losing weight, he was unable to have fun in life anymore and they were fighting every time you saw them — it was horrible.
'The divorce negotiations dragged on for five months. I was convinced there has to be another way.'
The idea has become so popular that several television companies in America are looking at making it into a documentary series.
Mr Halfens is also looking to expand into other countries, suggesting that the USA and Germany could be next on the list.
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