First there are wedding fairs, now ones for divorce. According to AP News:
Breaking up is hard to do. But lawyers, counselors, astrologists and lifestyle coaches at Britain’s first divorce fair this weekend will aim to make the process easier.
The fair — cheerily named the “Starting Over Show” — takes place Sunday at a cozy hotel in the seaside resort town of Brighton.
Organizer Suzy Miller said the event would aim to focus on the positive, starting with a warming cup of tea and a chunk of homemade cake. Musicians will play live and there will be play areas for kids.
Though Britain has one of the highest divorce rates in Europe, Miller said the Brighton event would be unlike the continent’s first divorce fair in Austria two years ago, which featured private investigators and companies offering paternity tests.
Instead, psychics would offer to heal people’s minds and bodies, and one company suggests boosting finances by selling a healthy version of chocolate, she said. Many of the 30 or so exhibitors, who have paid up to 1,600 pounds ($2,245) for a stall, plan to focus on having fun.
“Sometimes people just need someone to talk to,” said exhibitor Martina Mercer-Hall, who uses astrology and alternative therapies to advise on designing one’s home after divorce.
One exhibitor promises to organize the footwear equivalent of Tupperware parties, selling stilettos instead of food storage tubs. Another plans art appreciation vacations. On a more pragmatic note, the fair offers debt counselors and mediators to help couples navigate divorce without lawyers.
In Britain, 2.6 people of every thousand are divorced, compared with a European average of 1.8, according to EU statistics gathered in 2001. A 2002 report from the Center for Policy Studies think-tank says Britain offers few tax or welfare advantages to being married, and suggests younger people do not view a marriage commitment as seriously.
Divorce lawyers say business is booming, as the country’s recession puts pressure on marriages.
Divorce is a painful experience. I can’t see how some of these things (bringing your kids?) to this convention will be productive. At least they will be having mediators.