Thursday, October 18, 2007

Austria to host the world's first "divorce fair".

The event, taking place in Vienna, then Linz and Graz, will allow would-be divorcees to consult lawyers about their rights and seek advice.

The divorce rate in Austria hit an all time high of 50% in 2006, with 66% of marriages in Vienna ending in divorce.

The two-day fair is being held under the motto "New beginning".

The Vienna event takes place over 27-28 October, with Saturday reserved for men, and Sunday for women, so couples can avoid awkward encounters and retain a degree of anonymity.

Organiser Anton Barz says it is a world first and hopes it will become a twice-yearly event.

"Until now, I organised wedding fairs but while talking to associations and lawyers who told me about the difficulties of divorce, I had this idea," he said.

Up to 20 exhibitors have registered so far, not only lawyers and mediators, but also estate agents, life-crisis experts, private detective firms and DNA laboratories offering paternity tests.

One company will offer therapeutic package holidays for newly divorced people.

There will also be a series of lectures on subjects like how divorce affects children and coping as a single parent.

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