I read a very interesting article over the weekend regarding a new trend in divorces that divorcing parties are electing to participate in. Apparently in New York there is a program where divorcing parties pay an all-inclusive fee and negotiate and participate in their divorce from a swanky hotel. The fee covers mediation, separate accommodations for two people, an attorney to draft up the final agreements, and activities such as spa treatments, horseback riding, and more.
The idea is that the parties spend a last weekend together to finalize their divorce, outside of their attorney’s office and have breaks in between negotiations to relax and enjoy the amenities of the facility. The parties apparently must be pretty amicable in order for this to work, and even decide major issues before they leave for the weekend away (such as custody, etc.). The papers are drawn up by the attorney and the parties sign off on everything by the end of the weekend. The process is then later finalized in the court house and the parties are divorced (in Illinois, we’d have to appear for Court with the petitioning party to finalize, even if everything was signed in advance.)
This new trend seems very appealing. You can only get divorced in a particular state if you meet that state’s residency requirement, so only people who meet the New York residency requirement are eligible for this particular program, but it seems like something that could spread to other areas in the near future.