§580-71.5  Separation no bar to divorce.  Any party to a matrimonial action in which a decree of separation from bed and board has been entered, or any party to an action for separate maintenance in which a decree has been entered, may, notwithstanding the existence of such a decree, institute a matrimonial action and petition for the dissolution of that marriage, on any ground other than those set forth in paragraphs (2) and (3) of section 580-41, and in support of such petition may introduce evidence relating to events and facts occurring and existing both prior and subsequent to the entry of the decree of separation from bed and board in the prior matrimonial action, or the prior action for separate maintenance. [L 1976, c 140, §3]