Anyone in Austria interested in ending his or her marriage will be able to get all the necessary information to do so at a the divorce fair in Vienna on October 27-28.

"It's a world premiere," said Anton Barz, the man behind the project, which he has named "new beginning."

"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 told AFP.

Couples who have "of late separated" will be able to find all kinds of useful divorce information at the fair.

Various stands will be set up with lawyers, mediators, notaries and psychologists on hand to offer counsel. But exhibitors will also include real estate agents, car salesmen, travel agencies and spa centres in order to offer a true "new beginning" to new divorcees.

Another five "divorce fairs" are already planned around the country in the winter and in spring 2008.

And to avoid any awkward or potentially heated encounter with a former husband or wife, Saturday will be reserved for men while Sunday will be open to women only.

"I have already received 600 registrations by email and phone," Barz said.

Although the service was not exclusively for Austrians seeking divorce, he said, his hands were already full in a country where 48.9 percent of married couples chose to end their marriage in 2006.

In Vienna alone, the divorce rate was 65.9 percent.

"Some of the exhibitors will speak English, French, Italian or even Czech or Greek," he said. (AFP)-VIENNA, July 16, 2007


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