Holland has started a new trend on the concept of a Divorce Hotel. Jim Halfens is considered the pioneer of the concept. He is not a lawyer but runs a company that specializes in offering a quick, low-cost solution for divorce. Utrecht recently had the opening of the fifth Five Star hotel in the town, Hotel Karel. Jim Halfens looks at the hotel as a nice place to get divorced. He started this business after doing some market research. He interviewed a lot of divorcees and realized how critical and life disturbing a divorce was.
The major problem was that the process was very time consuming. The painful process not only affects the couple’s personal lives but their professional lives as well. That’s when the idea of the Divorce Hotel was born. The concept is simple, Halfens offers a legal service in Dutch luxury hotels. He promises to complete the process in about three days. But the service is not open to all couples. He first assesses the situation based on various criteria. The couples have to go through some very extensive interviews. They should be in a mindset that they can settle their differences through a mediator instead of lawyers.
Then only they are offered a choice of hotels. Over the next three days the couples have access to several specialists including notaries and even psychologists. Marie-Louise Van As, a lawyer who works as a mediator at the Divorce Hotel said that if they feel the marriage can be saved they encourage the couple to give it another chance instead of rushing into a divorce. Normally the cost of the whole process works out to about $3,500 including the accommodation. The concept is new but Halfens is already receiving enquiries from other countries. If he is able to strike the right partnership he would like to start the service in Germany.