In Ireland, unlike most countries, much of the regulations surrounding when and how you can get a divorce are set out in our Constitution. The Divorce Referendum, which is being held on the same day as the Local and European Elections on May 24th, will allow you vote to change that by allowing the Oireachtas create laws in this area instead.
The specific changes that are being proposed are:
Reducing the length of time you must live apart from your spouse in order to seek a divorce from four out of five years to two out of three years.
Allow the Oireachtas to create laws to recognise foreign divorces in Ireland.
The current divorce law in our Constitution creates a significant and undue burden on people whose relationships have broken down irrevocably and leaves many people chained in a marriage which has in practical terms, ended long before the Irish State allows them to seek a divorce. It also adds a legal complexity which can result in higher legal costs for people seeking divorce in Ireland.
A vote in favour of this divorce referendum is a vote for personal freedom and for the rightful recognition of foreign divorces which is long overdue.