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Still Waters

'Divorce hotel' in the Netherlands

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Still Waters
Over a three-day stay at a luxury divorce hotel in the Netherlands, a mediator and other specialists – notaries, even psychologists – are on hand to help couples get divorced.

The five star Hotel Karel the Fifth in Utrecht looks ideal for a weekend getaway. In the bustling lobby, there's no shortage of advertisements for kissing couples hoping for a romantic retreat.

But Jim Halfens looks at the hotel and sees something else -- a nice place to get divorced.

Halfens isn't a lawyer. He runs a company that specializes in offering a quick, lower-cost alternative to divorce.

About half a year ago, he was interviewing divorcees, doing some market research.

"They told us -- divorce is very critical, I'm getting into a roller coaster," Halfens said. "I'm not able to work anymore. My boss is complaining. Sometimes it takes three months. We have examples where it takes three years. And people were wondering -- is there no other solution?"

That's when Halfens got the idea for the Divorce Hotel.

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