The Irish government is planning a referendum on the country’s divorce law on 24 May, at the same time as the European Elections.

Under the Irish Constitution, a court can grant a dissolution of marriage if the spouses have lived apart from one another for at least four years during the previous five years.

The government now intends to remove from the Constitution the four-year minimum and allow a two-year period to be defined in the law. The Irish Minister of Justice Charlie Flanagan published the outline of his planned legislation to ensure voters have clarity.

The referendum will propose deleting the section of the constitution that does not recognise a divorce registered outside the country.