Back in 2012, I reported here on the blog that Fox had ordered a pilot for a reality series based a business venture by entrepreneur Jim Halfens, which has already had success in the Netherlands and in varying hotels across Europe. The idea is simple: check in for a weekend with your soon-to-be-ex spouse, sit down in quiet luxury in a cushy hotel suite with a mediator, and leave with a hammered-out settlement and custody plan.
The first American "Divorce Hotel" has finally been identified as the in Saratoga Springs, NY, just three hours from New York city. , which has already started production. According to Jim Halfens, they've shot two episodes, but have no firm commitment from the network as of yet.
Of course, the name is a bit deceptive - if you choose to go this route, you won't check into the hotel married and check out divorced - there are still residency requirements, filing requirements, and various paperwork and state laws to be considered. What you will have (if everything goes smoothly) is a completed settlement and parenting plan, and then maybe a nice massage and a peach bellini on your balcony as you toast the glorious sunset over the beautifully manicured grounds.
It sounds idyllic, doesn't it? But I'm betting if they're getting reality TV involved, it's not always spa treatments and amicable handshakes over the Waterford crystal goblets and silver flatware. I would wager there's more diva fit-throwing and silver-haired executives who brought the twenty-something girlfriend along to the divorce party.
What do you think? Would you have taken advantage of a "Divorce Hotel" if you could have? And would you watch a show about one on TV?
[Ellie DeLano is the author of , and also blogs at . You can follow Ellie on and ]