The Divorce Hotel doesn’t sound like too much fun, until you’ve been stuck in a union that is all but over and have struggled with the insane costs of trying to dissolve a marriage that ended in spirit years ago with a paper trail that won’t die.
I must admit that to me, a divorce hotel sounds like a fantastic idea. In my state, New York, divorce is a terribly expensive and complicated process, with an ornery and impossible to navigate court system that embodies everyone’s Kafka-esque nightmare of government employees.
My own marriage ended back in 2006, on terms that were for the most part amicable. My ex and I are good friends, and even hang out without our children on occasion. But ending our marriage has been a task not only that neither of us has managed to achieve, but happens to be the only issue that causes us to bicker due to the stressful nature of obtaining a divorce in New York. A divorce hotel would have saved both of us a ton of money and time over the past half a decade plus.
Alas, there are no divorce hotels in New York just yet, but at least the state has finally allowed for no-fault divorces, a circumstance that did not exist the first time we filed. And a divorce hotel would remove the sting of several months of paperwork ping-ponging that couples who live far apart struggle to manage, not to mention the 9-12 month-long processing period in areas like Brooklyn, where our divorce has sat motionless for three years.
I imagine it was couples like myself and my erstwhile husband that Dutch entrepreneur Jim Halfens had in mind when he conceived the idea of divorce hotels. Instead of couples working separately to file papers and navigate complicated and punitive divorce laws, they simply check into a luxury hotel of their choice and after meeting with all the potentially relevant professionals- lawyers, therapists, mediators- they check out with all their divorce papers in order and filed.
Although the divorce hotel is available only to Dutch citizens right now, Halfens is looking at a few sites in the US- including ones in New York. Would you use a divorce hotel when all other options have been exhausted?