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Here's your quick guide to the divorce referendum

Get up to speed.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

THERE’S AN AWFUL lot of votes taking place next Friday, 24 May, but one you might not have heard of yet is the divorce referendum.

The government has proposed changing two parts of the Constitution: One relating to the amount of time a couple must live apart before being granted a divorce, the other relating to the recognition of divorces granted in a different jurisdiction.

We’ve put together a quick guide for you on the vote, but here it is summed up at lighting speed:

  • Currently, a couple must live apart for four out of the previous five years in order to apply for a divorce, under Article 41.3.2(i)
  • 41.3.3 is more complicated. The Constitution allows the government to ban someone from remarrying for the lifetime of the other party of the marriage if the divorce isn’t recognised by government. Legislation allows the government to recognise foreign divorces, but it depends on the country and when the divorce occurred.
  • There will be a single question on the ballot paper to change both.
  • Yes vote would remove Article 41.3.2(i). The government would then introduce legislation which would serve a similar function. The laws currently planned by Fine Gael would reduce the time frame to two of the previous three years. Voting yes would also tidy up 41.3.3, replacing it with “provision may be made by law for the recognition under the law of the State of a dissolution of marriage granted under the civil law of another state”.
  • A No vote would keep the Constitution as it is.

Watch the video above for more.

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Nicky Ryan

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