In any case where a decree of divorce from bed and board has been granted, and the court shall determine that one year has elapsed since the event which gave rise to such divorce or, in any case where the parties have entered into a separation agreement and there are no minor children either born of the parties, born of either party and adopted by the other or adopted by both parties, that six months has elapsed since such event, and the parties have been separated without interruption since such divorce was granted and no reconciliation is probable, it may merge such decree into a decree for divorce from the bond of matrimony upon application of either party. The injured party need not give the guilty party notice of his application to the court if such application is limited to such merger nor of the taking of depositions in support thereof, but shall give due notice if he raises new matters. If the guilty party initiates proceedings for such merger he shall give the other party ten days’ notice thereof. No final decree for divorce entered in such a case shall terminate or otherwise affect any restraining order, or order for the payment of costs, counsel fees, support and maintenance for a spouse or child or children except as specifically provided in such decree. The provisions of this section shall apply to the divorces from bed and board, which have been heretofore granted.
Code 1919, § 5115; 1926, p. 859; 1934, p. 21; 1942, p. 158; 1946, p. 264; 1948, p. 539; 1950, p. 634; 1952, c. 100; 1960, c. 19; 1968, c. 326; 1975, c. 644; 1979, c. 1; 1987, c. 38; 1988, c. 404.