Both parties to a marriage may remarry if they are granted a decree of divorce. However, before they can apply for such a decree, they must have been living apart for a period amounting to 4 out of the previous 5 years. In addition there must be no reasonable prospect of reconciliation, and proper arrangements must have been made or be in the process of being made for the spouse and any dependent family members such as children and other relatives.
If these conditions are met, then either party to a marriage may apply to court for a decree of divorce. If the court is satisfied that the grounds are met, it will grant the decree thus dissolving the marriage. At the same time as granting the decree, the court may also make orders in relation to other matters such as the custody of children and access to them, payment of maintenance and lump sums, transfer of property, extinguishing succession rights, pension rights and other matters. When a decree is granted it cannot be reversed. However, particularly where circumstances change, either party can apply to court to have any orders made under the decree reviewed.
Due to the fact that parties must have been living apart for 4 out of the 5 years before an application for divorce can be made, it is sometimes the case that separating couples obtain a separation agreement or a judicial separation so as to regulate matters between them prior to seeking a divorce. It should be noted that in any application for a decree of divorce, a court can review any previous arrangements made by the parties involved, such as a separation agreement.