The Fine Gael led government are proposing to have a new referendum on changing an article in the constitution concerning divorce.
At present, couples have to be separated for five years before gaining a divorce. Fine Gael is proposing that this ‘waiting period’ be reduced to two years.
But the obvious question is: why do people have to wait two years? Why can’t they simply divorce if there is a ‘no fault’ case? And if there is disagreement on terms, this can be dealt with through mediation and once that – or legal proceedings are concluded – they should be allowed an immediate divorce.
Marriage breakup is often stressful and hurtful. Instead of piling of pressure on people with expensive legal fees, the state should be facilitating the least harmful way of separating. But this is not what Fine Gael intend do.
Reducing the wait period to two years is yet another example of the timid, fake liberalism of a party that is desperately trying to re-brand itself as ‘progressive‘.
The current pattern in Ireland is that couples must go through two legal processes to end a marriage
They first get a legal separation and then wait five years to start another round of legal claims to get a divorce.
In the meantime, they get hit with heavy legal bills from an overpaid legal profession.
One financial advisor revealed the likely cost to Newstalk when he said “From a solicitor’s perspective, €15,000 to €20,000 wouldn’t be unusual per party.”
These costs are outrageous and the simplest way to remove them would be to allow couples to separate in one legal move. That means eliminating the five years waiting period from the constitution.
But the Fine Gael Minister behind the move, Josepha Madigan, comes from a solicitor’s firm that has made a fortune from divorce settlements. Her liberalism does not extend to cutting the hefty profits that lawyers make from marriage breakups.