Nothing Compares to...Barry Herridge

On December 8, 2011, troubled Irish singer-songwriter Sinead O'Connor revealed to the world that she married Irish therapist Barry Herridge she met on the internet in an unconventional drive-thru wedding ceremony in Las Vegas.

Approximately 18 days later, the world was once again shocked by the singer-songwriter, when on December 26, 2011; she announced that she would be ending her marriage to Herridge as a result of pressures placed upon him by individuals in his life who did not want to see the couple together.

The singer was deeply hurt and revealed on her website and twitter that she was still enamored of Herridge, like her 1990 global hit "Nothing Compares 2 U." O'Connor and Herridge were spotted together, walking arm-in-arm on January 4, 2012, after leaving an Irish pub. In addition, O'Connor has once again taken to the "twitterverse" to profess her undying love and devotion to her husband. On January 3, 2012 she posted: "[...] Yay!!! We decided to be boyfriend and girlfriend again and stay married [...]."

Throughout her life, her music has been a critical success while her personal life has been marked by difficulty and scandal.

O'Connor's past includes shoplifting and truancy in her teenage years. Her mother was killed in a tragic car accident when O'Connor was 15. She has been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, bipolar disorder, and attempted suicide on her 33rd birthday. She has been married three times prior to her marriage to Herridge.

On Friday, January 13, 2012 the troubled artist ended her marriage to Herridge a second time.

What effect, if any, will O'Connor's and Herridge's on-again, off-again marriage have on any future claims she may make for a divorce? Has the clock stopped running? Will their date of separation change?

If the couple were married in and resided in Ontario, the following laws would apply:

Firstly, Sinead O'Connor could bring an application under s. 8(1) of the Divorce Act for an Order for Divorce. Provided she satisfied the elements under s. 8 (2) regarding breakdown of marriage the court would be at liberty to grant said Order. Breakdown of marriage would be established if O'Connor could establish any of the following:

  1. Her and Herridge lived separate and apart for one (1) year;
  2. Adultery; or
  3. Physical or mental cruelty

If she were to bring her application and state one (1) year separation as the reason for the breakdown of her marriage, she would then have to look to s. 8(3) of the Divorce Act for the calculation of the period of separation. Based on s. 8(3) a couple will be deemed to have satisfied the one (1) year period if:

  1. Either of them had the intention to live separate and apart from the other; and
  2. The spouses did not resume cohabitation for a period exceeding ninety (90) days.

Therefore, since O'Connor and Herridge's brief reconciliation did not meet or exceed the ninety (90) day period then when filing her Application for Divorce and other necessary and relevant documents, she would be at liberty to state that December 26, 2011 was her effective date of separation.

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