The 38th Amendment to our Constitution was passed by an overwhelming majority following the vote on 24 May 2019 with more than 82% voting in favour of the changes. Until now, couples could only apply if they had been living apart for four of the last five years. The Government has said it will legislate to bring the period down to two years. The Yes vote will also make the recognition of foreign divorces explicit in the Constitution
Divorce rates are still low
The most recent Census (carried out in 2016) showed that while divorces had increased by 8.9% since the previous census, the divorce rates in Ireland are still very low. In fact, the rates of divorce in Ireland are the lowest in Europe and are less than 1/3rd the rates in the UK. It is highly likely that the reduction in the time period will make divorces more accessible to people and is likely, in the short-term at least, to result in an increase in the number of divorces.
The complex tax issues relating to a divorce (or legal separation) remain unchanged. The tax treatment of maintenance payments, the transfer of assets, inherent tax liabilities within transferred assets etc. need to be carefully considered in conjunction with the necessary legal advice. It is important that all options are explored so that tax costs are not inadvertently created, we can assist you with this.