Call for Ireland's divorce waiting time to be halved from four years

Josepha Madigan is to table a private members' bill next week

Divorce, Ireland, waiting time, reduction, Josepha Madigan, private members' bill

A No Divorce poster in Dublin in 1995 | Image:

A TD proposing new fast-track divorces says it will not break up any marriages.

Josepha Madigan is Fine Gael deputy for Dublin-Rathdown.

She has asked the Dáil to debate a bill that would reduce the waiting time to start official proceedings.

Currently, couples must be separated for four years before they can apply for a divorce.

However under the proposed new rules would see that time cut in half to two years.

A private members' bill will be tabled next week.

In England, the waiting time is two years - but one year with consent. Canada has a two year wait, Germany has between one to three years, while Malta also has a four year wait.

Deputy Madigan says it will not cause our divorce rates to rise.

"I think two years is a reasonable amount of time," she told the Pat Kenny Show here on Newstalk.

"I remember back in the day when divorce did come in in 1996...there was a concern from the anti-divorce side that there would be a big influx of divorces - that never happened."

"We still have one of the lowest marital breakdown rates in the world of 9.7%...and this certainly isn't going to encourage people to divorce."

"All it will do is make the process easier for those people that do decide," she added.