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Dublin: 14 °C Thursday 2 July, 2020

'It will impact thousands': New divorce living-apart requirements to apply from 1 December

Couples will have to live apart for two of the last three years to get a divorce.

Ministers Flanagan and Madigan welcomed the commencement of the bill.
Ministers Flanagan and Madigan welcomed the commencement of the bill.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS said that the new provisions reducing the amount of time married couples have to live apart before they’re able to get a divorce will come into effect on 1 December. 

An overwhelming 82% of voters passed the proposals in a referendum in May.

After President Michael D Higgins signed the Family Law Act 2019, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said today that the provisions of this bill will come into effect from next week.

Under the new system, couples will only have to live apart for two out of the last three years to secure a divorce. Previously, it had been four of the last five years.

The bill also included updating the statutory definition of ‘living apart’ and had provisions for spouses who live at the same address but are considered living separate lives. 

Flanagan said the “financial and emotional burden caused by the previous living apart requirements will be reduced”. 

“This will ensure that the process for obtaining a divorce is fair, dignified and humane,” he said.

His Cabinet colleague Josepha Madigan welcomed the commencement of the bill today. 

“It will impact thousands of people in Ireland,” she said.

It is a small but positive change for so many people.

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Sean Murray

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