Dutch Heartbreak Hotel gives 48-hour divorces

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The Independent Online

Unhappily married and glad to get rid of that pain of a husband or wife within 48 hours rather than in months? Holland's "Heartbreak Hotel" could be the answer.

A Dutch company named after the famous Elvis hit record has started offering estranged couples divorces that can be completed over a single weekend with the help of specialist lawyers, child psychologists and financial consultants. Even an estate agent is provided.

Under the scheme, warring spouses pay a €2,500 (£2,257) fee and the agency will discreetly book them into separate rooms at a number of undisclosed, but specially selected luxury hotels in Holland and Belgium.

Once ensconced, the divorcing couple can enjoy five-star service while a team of experts finalises their separation down to the last detail.

"The idea is to give couples an opportunity to go their separate ways in peace and without acrimony," said Jim Halfens, the Dutch entrepreneur behind the company. "Both have to be firmly committed to the idea of divorce. If they aren't, the concept simply doesn't work."

The divorce papers are usually completed and signed by the couple on the second day of the separation weekend and then handed to the courts.