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The Divorce Bill has been signed into law, shortening the 4-year separation period

The divorce referendum was passed by an overwhelming majority of 82%.

Image: Shutterstock/Denis Val

CHANGES TO DIVORCE rules voted for in the referendum last month have been officially signed into law.

Last May, an overwhelming 82% voted in favour of loosening the criteria for those who are applying for a divorce. 

This is now the 38th Amendment to the Constitution (Dissolution of Marriage) Bill.

Since divorce was legalised in Ireland, couples had to live apart for four of the previous five years before they were eligible. The laws currently proposed by Fine Gael would reduce the timeframe to wait before getting a divorce to two years, rather than four.

Culture Minister Josepha Madigan released a statement saying that Ireland feels “a lot more caring and compassionate” after the laws were changed. 

As the Director of Elections for Fine Gael for that referendum, I was pleased the country voted in such large numbers to show empathy and compassion to families going through difficult times.

“Shortening the statutory separation period will reduce the emotional and financial distress experienced by people seeking to divorce.

“As a country we have made a real difference and shown them compassion in a time of difficulty.”

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