Behind DivorceHotel

If you have been through or are going through a divorce, you likely learned the hard way that a divorce is a longer and more complicated process than you previously expected. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could finalize your divorce in one weekend? Well, a Dutch company called DivorceHotel International has recognized this desire in divorcing couples and come up with a solution: a weekend divorce getaway, where divorcing couples stay at a hotel and in one friendly weekend sort out all of the details of their divorce.

The “DivorceHotel” was launched first in the United Kingdom, and has now made its way to a location in New York. The Hotel promises complete anonymity, mediators and attorneys onsite, and access to outside specialists like accountants as needed. While staying at a luxury five-star hotel, the company says it strives to make their divorce service a positive, professional and fast experience for its clients. And, per the company’s website, it is important that couples looking to partake in DivorceHotel’s service “are both able to wish each other a positive and bright new future after divorce.”

Well, while the DivorceHotel service sounds wonderful, it has left us thinking that it sounds a little too good to be true. First, the time it takes to get a divorce depends in large part on the ability of the parties to get along. Unfortunately though, we as divorce attorneys know all too well that couples going through a divorce often have a difficult time even being in the same room together. Divorce is inherently an emotional process, and can cause spouses to act irrationally. So, the amicability requirement already limits the pool of potential couples who would benefit from DivorceHotel’s services.

Also, while a quickie weekend divorce sounds nice, it has the potential to be pretty dangerous. The brief time frame would make it almost impossible to do any due diligence or discovery regarding any of the issues in the divorce matter. It would essentially require that both spouses were completely involved in finances and completely trust that the other spouse is being 100% truthful regarding all items at issue in the divorce. Unfortunately, it is our experience that one spouse in a marriage typically has much more control over the finances. If parties are rushing a divorce agreement, the non-financially-involved-spouse must essentially blindly trust their spouse. To do so could lead to serious problems down the road, if it turns out that one spouse was hiding something. While there is potential for this to happen in any divorce, the risk heightens when parties do not take the time for procedures like discovery. This also makes it much more difficult for attorneys to advise their clients as to the best course of action.

While we can’t promise your divorce will take anywhere near 2 days, we do make every effort to settle divorce matters and keep the court’s involvement as limited as possible. Even though a weekend divorce seems ideal, it is almost certainly unrealistic and could even pose a real harm to some spouses.

Feel free to contact us if you are considering a divorce from your spouse, a legal separation, or have questions regarding property division and trust accounts. Nancy J. Bickford is the only Certified Family Law Specialist (CFLS) in San Diego County who is also a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with a Master of Business Administration (MBA). Don’t settle for less when determining your rights. Call 858-793-8884 in Del Mar, Carmel Valley, North County or San Diego.

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