As destination weddings have become all the rage in recent years, it was probably only a matter of time before someone began marketing “destination divorces.”
The concept first caught on in the Netherlands, but it wasn’t long before an American reality show was proposed on the concept and now, a company out of Fort Wayne is offering to help couples do just that: Basically, take a long weekend at a resort and get divorced.
The Daily Beast recently ran an article on the phenomenon.
Our Highland divorce attorneys can understand why the concept is so appealing. Having your divorce over in the course of a weekend – while being pampered, no less – sounds great to a lot of people.
Plus, people like the idea of having more control during the litigation process and avoiding an acrimonious lawsuit that will be ultimately decided by a judge.
The Fort Wayne destination divorce service, meanwhile, offers you a weekend with “no lawyers, no judges, no courtrooms, no fear of billable fees.” The website offers three straight days of mediation, where amenities such as golfing, massages or pool time is available whenever time is needed to “settle down and come back to the table with a clear head.”
That sounds great, right?
Sure, until you realize that the outcome puts you at a disadvantage for being able to move on with the next chapter of your life. Not having an attorney to help guide you through the separation and divorce process, be your advocate and look out for your interests might leave you in a very bad position financially.
Plus, some people might be able to purge all of the pent up emotions from years of a toxic marriage during the course of an afternoon swim or round of golf. But that wouldn’t be most people. Your lawyer is the person you pay to have a clear head throughout the proceedings because you expect it will be an emotionally-charged event.
Additionally, there is really no way, especially if you have young children or if you were married a long time, that you can legitimately iron out all the legal concerns the two of you have over the course of three days. Chances are, you spent more time than that planning your wedding.
The end may have come sooner than you would have liked (or not soon enough, depending on your situation). Regardless, you have to view your divorce planning as preparation for the rest of your life. That means you probably have more to consider than who gets the car and who’s keeping the dog. There are tax considerations. There are retirement plans to divvy up. There could be issues of child custody or child support. There may be joint debts or assets that have to be carefully considered and divided.
The only cases for which we might be able to see a destination divorce working would be those in which the parties were married a very short time, had little or no shared assets or debts and had zero issues of conflict to work out. Even then, we would still suggest that an experienced family law attorney at least conduct a cursory review of your case to ensure that nothing is being overlooked.
Indiana Family Law Attorney Burton A. Padove handles divorce and child custody matters throughout northern Indiana, including Gary, Hammond and Calumet City. Call Toll Free 877-446-5294.
Book a Vacation at a Divorce Hotel and End Your Marriage in Luxury, July 18, 2013, By Nina Strochlic, The Daily Beast
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Indiana Parenting Time Can’t Be “Negotiated Away” High Court Rules, July 20, 2013, Highland Divorce Lawyer Blog