Since the inception of Divorce in Ireland in 1996, you are obliged to live apart from your spouse for four out of the previous five years in order for a Divorce to be granted by our courts.
“This requirement contrasts with an order for Judicial Separation which can be based on one of six grounds, the most common one being that a normal marital relationship has not existed between the spouses for at least one year prior to the date of the application. However, despite its merits, the latter course of action does not give you the finality that a Divorce does and the parties are not free to remarry.”
The four-year requirement for the granting of a Divorce can be quite a lengthy and onerous period of time for couples who have separated and their families. They will be keen to regularise their finances, living accommodation and personal lives.
Of course, it should be noted that it is only when you reach the expiration of the four-year period that you can issue proceedings in the Family Law Courts, after which time it could take up to a year or more for your Divorce to be granted by the Courts.
However, it appears we may be following the suit of our European counterparts and reducing this burdensome wait time to two years.
A private member’s Bill has been brought before the Dáil and it is understood that it will be debated after summer vacation. While it has been reported that the Bill will receive the support of the main political parties and is therefore likely to be passed, the people will be required to vote on the reduction in the wait time, as the four-year requirement is enshrined in our Constitution.
With an increase in the concept of DIY divorces and this proposed amendment to the Constitution, it looks likely that Ireland is set to lend itself to quicker Divorces with reduced legal costs.
Hughes Murphy Solicitors can assist you with all your Family Law queries.
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