Iona Institute opposes any plan to speed up divorces

The announcement by Justice Minister Frances Fitzgerald that the waiting time for a couple seeking a divorce may be reduced is a further indication the Government does not take seriously its constitutional duty to guard marriage with “special care”, according to the Iona Institute.

Iona Institute opposes any plan to speed up divorces

At present the Constitution requires that a couple must be living apart for four out of the last five years before they can divorce. This was inserted into the Constitution at the time of the 1995 divorce referendum in order to discourage so-called quickie divorces which exist in other jurisdictions.

This would be the first review since divorce was legalised in 1996.

“It is there quite a while now and it is reasonable to review it,” said Ms Fitzgerald.

David Quinn of the Iona Institute said: “This latest announcement is simply one more indication that this Government does not take seriously its duty under the Constitution ‘to guard with special care the institution of marriage’.

“It is true that some people find the wait for a divorce frustrating but if the current constitutional requirement to wait several years before divorcing is slowing down the rate of divorce, then we should retain it.

“When Spain introduced a much quicker divorce regime 10 years ago, the number of divorces there quickly doubled.”

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