The Thirty-fifth Amendment of the Constitution (Divorce) Bill 2016, a Private Members' Bill introduced by Minister (then Deputy) Josepha Madigan, proposed to amend Article 41.3.2(i) of the Constitution to reduce the minimum period that spouses must have lived apart before applying for divorce from four years during the previous five years to two years during the previous three years. The Government supports the principle of the Bill; however, following analysis, legal advice and consultation with all sides in the Oireachtas, it considers that removing the living apart period from the Constitution so that it could be dealt with in ordinary legislation by the Oireachtas would be a more appropriate means to address this complex area of social policy. The Government intends to bring forward amendments to the Bill to propose the amendment on divorce for the May referendum. If passed, the Government will legislate to reduce the living apart period to two out of the proceeding three years. This proposal is also supported by the Opposition. The Bill is currently awaiting Report Stage in the Dáil.