Anna Hunter, Director of Major Family Law, Newcastle and North East’s leading divorce and children’s specialists, comments Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and not normally a day linked with divorce so we were curious to read an article on CNN’s website earlier today with the title “True Romance? Why this couple is getting divorced on Valentine’s Day?”

The article describes a couple in the USA, Antonio and Kathy, who have chosen to end their marriage this weekend using a rather unique concept. Having made the decision to divorce they are paying for a fixed fee package which will mean they will spend the next three days in a hotel reaching an agreement over the practical arrangements ensuing from their decision to separate and divorce. Included in their package are mediation services, legal drafting and hotel fees (including some meals!). The aim of this “short break divorce package” is to encourage a civilised approach to ending a marriage.

This particular couple state that the timing of their divorce weekend over Valentine’s Day is a coincident but combined with the Friday 13th element they felt there was an element of humour after what has been a difficult and stressful decision to separate.

Of course it remains to be seen how successful the Valentine’s Day divorce weekend will be but it is useful reminder of the various options available to couples wishing to separate amicably, without long drawn out court proceedings. Here in the UK we offer collaborative law as an option for couples wishing to separate without litigation. The process involves a couple and their respective lawyers actively deciding not to go court and then holding a series of four way meetings to reach agreement about financial matters and the arrangements for the children.

Antonio and Kathy will be marking the weekend in somewhat of a contrast to the commercialised images of red roses and champagne normally associated with Valentines Day but we hope that they achieve their goal of a civilised end to their marriage.

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If you wish for any assistance please contact Anna on 01661 824582, Twitter: @majorfamilylaw