Legislative proposals on divorce have been considered by the Cabinet when ministers gathered in Dublin this morning.

The measures flow from last May's referendum, which removed the separation period required for divorce from the Constitution, and enabled it to be changed via legislation.

Presenting the Family Law Bill 2019, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan outlined proposals which would reduce the separation period for couples seeking divorce to two years out of the previous three - down from four years out of the previous five.

Mr Flanagan also proposed to reduce to one year the minimum "living apart" period of three years that applies to judicial separation applications, in cases where the respondent does not consent to such a decree being granted.

The divorce referendum, which was passed by an overwhelming majority of 82% of voters, also sought to modernise the provision on the recognition of foreign divorces. 

Due to the threat of a no-deal Brexit, Mr Flanagan also proposed legislation on the recognition of divorces, legal separations and annulments granted under UK law - so that UK decisions can be recognised under similar rules to those granted within the EU.

It is understood Mr Flanagan expects the legislation to make "swift progress" through the Oireachtas, given detailed discussions with all parties.