Family Law Act 2019

Amendment of section 5 of Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996

3. (1) Section 5 of the Act of 1996 is amended—

(a) in subsection (1)(a), by the substitution of “at least two years during the previous three years” for “at least four years during the previous five years”, and

(b) by the insertion of the following subsection after subsection (1):

“(1A) For the purposes of this section—

(a) spouses who live in the same dwelling as one another shall be considered as living apart from one another if the court is satisfied that, while so living in the same dwelling, the spouses do not live together as a couple in an intimate and committed relationship, and

(b) a relationship does not cease to be an intimate relationship merely because it is no longer sexual in nature.”.

(2) The amendments effected by subsection (1) shall apply to proceedings for the grant of a decree of divorce under the Act of 1996—

(a) that are instituted on or after the date this section comes into operation, or

(b) that have been instituted, and have not been concluded, prior to such date.

(3) In this section, “Act of 1996” means the Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996 .