Ireland divorce referendum: Government could SCRAP strict divorce laws in HISTORIC vote

77 percent of voters have said they will vote “yes” for the proposed changes, while 8 percent said they would vote against it. Meanwhile, 11 percent that they “do not know” and 4 percent said they will not vote. The poll was taken on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this week, with a total of 1,500 voters in each of the three European Parliament across 150 sampling points the Republic of Ireland. If the voters approve of the divorce referendum, Ireland’s Government will be forced to remove the requirement for couples to live apart for four to five years before they can officially divorce.

The Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) will then decide how long a couple should be separated before they are allowed to divorce.

The referendum will take place on May 24, as thousands of residents are set to vote in a bid to amend strict divorce timeframes from the constitution.

The Government has suggested reducing the divorce waiting period to two years.

The referendum also hopes to recognise foreign divorces and remove the current restrictions under the Irish law.

Josepha Madigan, the director of elections for Fine Gael, the governing party, believes the existing four-year timeframe has placed unnecessary burden on couples who wish to end their marriage.

She also said that family relationships end up becoming more strained and both sides end up being drawn in long court processes.

Solicitor Keith Walsh told Law Society Gazeette: “It certainly will stop people going through the trauma and difficulties of two court processes.

“Having to go through two contentious court processes, particularly in a family situation, where the resources of the family are being swallowed…even where there is legal aid on both sides the emotional resources are being swallowed.

“That is something that we can’t stand for.”

Ireland’s divorce referendum will be held on the same day as the local and European elections, as well as another referendum for elected mayors in Waterford, Limerick and Cork.

The new proposal comes after two successful national votes, which saw same-sex marriage legalised and the scrapping of Ireland’s abortion ban.

The ban on divorce was removed in a 1995 referendum, with just a slight majority of 50.3 percent voting to scrap the legislation.

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