THE BLOG
05/07/2013 12:32 pm ET Updated Jul 01, 2013

The Story Behind the Start of "DivorceHotel"

When we started DivorceHotel we never expected our concept would be famous within a couple of years. We had a smooth business start and got to work with enthusiastic clients whom were willing to try out our new innovative concept. We now receive requests to help people settle their divorces from all over the world.

Besides running our international business DivorceHotel, I'm working on a new book, writing several blogs, and we are creating our original "US DivorceHotel" TV show. It's a dream for every entrepreneur to see his business grow, but when we started a lot of people were pretty pessimistic. I mean, "DivorceHotel" does have an unusual ring to it! But only my brother and I recognized this new business opportunity. Allow me to explain what the reason was behind starting DivorceHotel.

'The traditional law office experience'
After I had sold my previous company, I began working as a Chief Commercial Officer at a traditional law office. From the start our family law lawyers fascinated me. Their daily business didn't focus on corporate procedures or litigation for criminals. On the contrary, their focus lay on splitting up individuals by guiding them through the not so transparent world called 'divorce land'. But I was surprised about the fact that these procedures were often painful, inefficient, time-consuming and expensive. As if the divorce procedure itself wasn't bad enough, every divorce seemed to end with a huge bill as a result. I didn't get that almost all over the world the same problems and irritations were applicable to divorce procedures, but nobody was thinking of new solutions, let alone creating them.

'The horror divorce of my best friend'
The moment that I was convinced I wanted to play a resolute role in 'divorce land' was when I personally became involved in the horrible divorce of one of my best friends. His divorce procedure started out as an 'easy mediation', but quickly ran off the rails. Both spouses wanted to split up as positive as possible for the sake of their children, but their mediator delayed the process continuously. In the meanwhile his wife started a new relationship and the first discussions about property and money started. The mediation drastically failed and they both had to change the mediator for a lawyer and from that moment on trouble started. They changed their way of communication; normal talking became yelling and screaming. Their lawyers declared war on each other and the divorce procedure for my friend took more than 2 years. It all ended up costing him a fortune, not to mention the fact that he wasn't allowed to see his kids during periods of time. It was a long painful divorce procedure like this that changed one of my best friends as a person from the inside out. But why did it get this far? I was now convinced that I wanted to change the traditional divorce system by developing a smart, new, helpful and mostly supportive model for all parties involved.

'The start of DivorceHotel'
Having done a lot of research, the answer to the question "what frustrates you the most in a divorce procedure?" was always the same: "You never know when is Starts, when it Ends & what it is going to Cost". I decided to name this "SEC-uncertainty" and it is this "SEC-uncertainty" that has a huge influence on the entire divorce procedure. The longer a divorce procedure takes the higher the risk it can end up in a fight and cost you a lot. But clients rely on the full and not so flexible agendas of professionals they hire as well. This often delays the divorce process to unknown and often painful extends. But what if we would hire all the professionals (lawyers, mediators, real estate agents etc.) for you and you needed them just for one weekend? In other words: The DivorceHotel would be a place where we would provide you with all the things you need to have a smooth, efficient, emotionally friendly and cost effective separation process. This benefits not only you, but also your children and family. And because we want to support you in all ways, financially, legally and emotionally, we would need you to be in an isolated place where it is just you, your partner and the mediators. Family and friends can create tension and be impartial, and so could hinder the process. Our concept was different from the start: have the spouses and the mediators be in one place, with easy and fast access to each other, be in a neutral environment with no emotional links, and have a time limit on the negotiations. No surprises, no hidden fees, clarity from the start. With this idea DivorceHotel was born.

'DivorceHotel today'
I believe my years of research were for a good course. I succeeded in developing a new concept that has changed some of the traditional 'divorce world' views. Today I would have been able to help my best friend... I do realize my philosophy may not be suitable for everybody, you may love or hate it, but in our model you will be in control of your own situation: you know when it starts, when it ends and you will know exactly how much it costs. Every time when divorce agreements are signed in our hotels people wish each other good luck and a positive new future. They leave our hotels on Sunday willing to embrace their new lives. Because if you can start a marriage together, we believe you have the strength to end it together, and it can be on a good note as well!

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