Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996
The Obtaining of a Decree of Divorce
Grant of decree of divorce and custody etc., of children.
5.— (1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, where, on application to it in that behalf by either of the spouses concerned, the court is satisfied that—
( a) at the date of the institution of the proceedings, the spouses have lived apart from one another for a period of, or periods amounting to, at least four years during the previous five years,
( b) there is no reasonable prospect of a reconciliation between the spouses, and
( c) such provision as the court considers proper having regard to the circumstances exists or will be made for the spouses and any dependent members of the family,
the court may, in exercise of the jurisdiction conferred by Article 41.3.2° of the Constitution, grant a decree of divorce in respect of the marriage concerned.
(2) Upon the grant of a decree of divorce, the court may, where appropriate, give such directions under section 11 of the Act of 1964 as it considers proper regarding the welfare (within the meaning of that Act), custody of, or right of access to, any dependent member of the family concerned who is an infant (within the meaning of that Act) as if an application had been made to it in that behalf under that section.
Power granted to Court, in proceedings relating to subs. (2), to direct the HSE to undertake an investigation of a child’s circumstances by Child Care Act 1991 (17/1991), s. 20(1), as substituted (9.01.1998) by Children Act 1997 (40/1997), s. 17, commenced as per s. 1(2), and as amended (1.01.2005) by Health Act 2004 (42/2004), s. 75 and sch. 7 part 6, S.I. No. 887of 2004.