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'Divorce Hotel' -- the next stop for reality television?

Reality television has covered just about every facet of human relationships, including bachelors and bachelorettes seeking spouses in a season-long pursuit for a final red rose. Now another reality TV idea has surfaced, floated by an international entrepreneur. While it has not yet hit Arizona, the idea of a divorce hotel is certainly gathering publicity all across America as well as other countries.

The notion is that a couple wishing to divorce checks into a hotel on Friday with the promise of checking out on Sunday with a divorce in hand. They pay a flat fee -- anywhere from $3,500 to $10,000, depending on the issues to be negotiated. Presumably, they also sign some release forms agreeing to have their weekend, including any divorce negotiations, captured on film. Since reality TV is made compelling by the producers emphasizing conflict and turmoil, there is sure to be plenty of that.

But can it work? The idea that one could achieve a divorce, in Arizona or another state, in a couple of days certainly sounds appealing. So does the projected cost. So what's the hitch? The hitch may be that getting divorced is not as easy as presented during a brief television episode.

Depending on the length of the marriage and the number of minor children involved, the issues get complicated quickly. The notion that someone can essentially wave a magic wand and make everything better seems a bit farfetched. Nevertheless, the divorce hotel concept may work for those who have few assets and are agreeable enough to quickly compromise coming out of a commercial break. For others, the concept may be a bit too fanciful to take seriously.

Source: The New York Times, "NYT: Check in married and then check out single," Janet Morrissey, May 28, 2012

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