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Law Society report recommends shortening of waiting period for divorce

A new report from the Law Society is backing a proposal to reduce the waiting period for a divorce from four years to two.

A referendum on the issue is taking place on May 24 when voters will be asked if they want to cut the minimum living apart period for spouses.

The Law Society report also makes 11 recommendations including stream-lining the family court system.

Its main author, Dr.Gerry Shannon, said the family court has been neglected in favour of other branches of the courts' system.

Dr Shannon said: "We have a specialised criminal court, we have a 'Rolls-Royce' system for the Commercial Court, yet the Family Court system remains the 'Cinderella' of the legal system.

"What we are saying now is that people most deserving of a specialised system are actually clients who are very vulnerable and need State support.

"We feel that's a critical part of reform that must now follow."