PBP TD says divorce waiting period should be abolished
Calls for five year waiting time to be reduced to zero
TD Bríd Smith has said that her party, People Before Profit, believe that the ‘waiting time’ of five years for divorce should be abolished.
She said that with the expected referendum on divorce which is to be held in 2019, Fine Gael will be looking to reduce the waiting time down to two years. She said that this isn’t good enough and the referendum should look to abolish the separation waiting time.
She said: “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 intends to do.
“Reducing the waiting 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 Dublin South Central TD said that the main beneficiaries of the waiting period are the legal profession. She pointed to one financial advisor who 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.’
She said: “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 year waiting period from the constitution.
“As is the case with Minister Josepha Madigan many in Fine Gael are from professional legal backgrounds with companies that make a tidy sum from divorce settlements. Their liberalism does not extend to cutting the hefty profits that lawyers make from marriage breakups.”