Published November 05, 2015
In the Netherlands a weekend break can become a weekend break-up for couples hoping for a swift and cheap divorce.
It is a concept called the "Divorce Hotel" and helps husbands and wives to arrange all the necessary legal documentation to end their marriage over the course of just two days.
They meet a mediator and series of lawyers behind closed doors who will split assets, agree alimony payments and arrange visitation rights - all for a fixed fee.
It is the brainchild of entrepreneur Jim Halfens, who said he spotted a gap in the market in a country where the average divorce can easily run into five figures and take months to complete.
"When they leave the hotel, all work is done," Halfens told Sky News. "The only thing that happens then in Dutch law is that they have to show the agreement to a judge in the Netherlands and that takes a couple of weeks.
"They walk divorced out of this door and to make it official takes a couple of weeks."
He uses a number of high-end boutique hotels around the country, including the smart Carlton Ambassador Hotel in The Hague.
Sales manager Ninke Bons explains that the couples, who often check in together, but mostly choose to stay in separate rooms, are handled with care by the staff.
"We treat them as any other guests, we just try to keep a closer eye on them or make sure they are not wandering around by themselves," she says.
"Just as an example - we would normally inquire if a guest enjoyed their stay at the hotel. Well, obviously that's not very appropriate in the case of the 'Divorce Hotel.'"
Couples have to apply to use the process and are rigorously screened by the divorce hotel legal team. If the husband and wives are squabbling, or barely on speaking terms, they are deemed unsuitable for the process.
The concept is thought to be perfect for TV and the multi-Emmy Award winning Base Productions is pitching a series to television networks in the US, and several are said to be interested.
Producer Mickey Stern says rather than a reality TV show - a genre born in the Netherlands - they are proposing a high-gloss documentary series examining couples as they go through the process and how conflicts are resolved as the spoils are divided.