Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan will ask Cabinet to approve the drafting of a Family Law Bill to implement the recent referendum decision on divorce.

Mr Flanagan will also seek Cabinet approval for a Blasphemy Bill to give effect to that referendum vote.

The proposed Family Law Bill will reduce the minimum living apart period to two out of the previous three years for a couple who wish to divorce.

Currently couples must have lived apart for four of the previous five years.

The referendum on this question got the backing of 82% of voters last May.

However the proposals before Cabinet contain some other provisions.

These include the statutory definition of living apart and it will take account of spouses who live separate lives but in the same dwelling.

The legislation will also cut the required living apart time for judicial separations from three years to one year.

In an effort to reduce legal costs the bill will allow those already in the process of obtaining a judicial separation to apply for a divorce instead.

The bill is mindful of Brexit, and divorces granted in Britain would be treated as if they had been granted by an EU state, should the UK leave the EU without an agreement.

Minister Flanagan will also ask Cabinet to approve the publication of the Blasphemy Bill 2019.

The key aim of the Bill is to ensure it is no longer possible to initiate a prosecution for blasphemy following the 2018 referendum result.

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