Married in Mexico, divorced in the Dominican? For many couples, foreign countries aren’t just for weddings. The rise of “destination divorces” is attracting separating couples to exotic locations for a weekend of relaxation and paperwork.
Why would a couple want to go on vacation together to get a divorce? For many of these couples, they want the divorce to happen as quietly as possible, away from family and friends. Rather than associate their divorce with their hometown, couples may choose to take care of their divorce quickly in a foreign country. In other instances, the couple may still be on friendly terms, and may wish to give the marriage a final sendoff.
Regardless of the reasons, destination divorces have been common for decades. In past decades, many American states had strict, fault-based requirements for obtaining divorces. As a result, wealthier couples would fly to a country without a fault-based system in order to get around this country’s laws. For example, celebrities like Marilyn Monroe often divorced in Mexico, away from the rules and publicity found in the U.S.
Recently, more travel services have begun offering divorce “packages” at a luxury resort or hotel. These types of packages are also not necessarily new—beginning in 1973, the Dominican Republic has offered a $900 divorce package which included an approximation of a no-fault divorce under the country’s laws and access to a lawyer’s services and a hotel room.
Like everything else, the prices of these packages have increased since the 1970s. Today, couples interested in destination divorces can expect to spend between $7,500 and $12,000 on a hotel package that includes attorneys and mediators.
While these divorces may seem quick and relatively painless, it is worth taking the time to handle a divorce right. Many couples need time to talk through and negotiate things like shared property, child support, or spousal support payments, and these decisions cannot be rushed.
Though the idea of just “ripping off the Band-Aid” may be tempting, it is often better for everyone involved when a divorce settlement is the result of careful planning. Divorce has a long-term effect on the lives of everyone involved, especially when the marriage produced children. A quickie divorce in a foreign country is usually not the best way to protect each partner’s interests.
At Pacific Northwest Family Law, our attorneys understand that dealing with your ex can be difficult. Our goal is to help you put your divorce behind you as soon as possible by working with your spouse on your behalf to create an agreement that fits your needs.