Does Not Sleeping at the Residence Constitute as Legal Separation?
- A legal separation generally enables a married couple to determine child custody and visitation rights; determine child and spousal support; and divide their assets and debts while leaving the parties legally married. A couple will usually be considered separated if they are living apart in separate residences by mutual consent or by court order.
A spouse cannot claim that she is legally separated from her husband if he has to live at another location for the majority of the time, due to his work, such as military deployment.
- A legal separation must be ordered by a judge. A couple should contact separate family law attorneys to achieve the legal separation. A couple cannot declare themselves "legally" separated by their own consent; they can be separated, but they are not legally separated.
- Most states require that a couple lives separately for a statutory period of time prior to a divorce being granted. For the purposes of divorce, separation means residing and sleeping in different locations at all times. Sleeping apart, but within the same residence, does not constitute separation.