Divorce law in Ireland changed significantly on 1 December 2019. The length of time a couple must live apart before applying for a divorce has been reduced to two out of the previous three years. Prior to this change in the law, a couple had to be living apart for four out of the previous five years.
The phrase “living apart” has been clarified in the Family Law Act 2019 in the context of spouses who live under the same roof. A couple will be considered as living apart from one another if a court is satisfied that while they are living in the same dwelling, they do not live together as a couple in an intimate and committed relationship. This will make it easier for couples residing together, though living apart, to apply for a divorce.