For those who aren’t aware of the “divorce hotel” concept, the basic idea is that a couple works together to resolve the details of their divorce over a weekend while staying in a nice hotel. They check into separate rooms, they both have access to a professional mediator, and they spend the weekend hammering out the details of their divorce. At the end of the process they walk away with an agreement and move on with their lives. If this sounds too good to be true to Florida spouses, that’s because it often is.
Negotiating a divorce takes more than a long weekend, even between spouses who are committed to a collaborative approach. There are complex issues to consider, especially in regard to property division and child custody. Just as no two people should decide to get married based on a long weekend at a hotel, that setting is also ill-suited to help a couple work through a divorce.
There are real risks involved in rushing the divorce process. Some spouses are more interested in getting beyond the marriage than they are in negotiating a fair settlement. That’s a recipe for disaster, and an opportunity for one party to take advantage of the other.
That’s not to say that couples in Florida and elsewhere can’t work together to end a marriage. A collaborative divorce is a great fit for some couples, and can help both parties save money and emotional strife. The process, however, takes more than three days. These are decisions that will have lasting ramifications, and should be made only when both parties are fully informed on the options and outcomes.