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Can a spouse separate from a spouse without getting a divorce?

This, too, is a form of permanent separation where couples receive a legal separation and live separate and apart for years without ever filing for divorce. They are still married, however, although the marital estate has been divided.

Couples who want a permanent separation should obtain a legal separation, with a separation agreement. The separation agreement deals with the terms and conditions of financial arrangements between the spouses, such as division of marital property, custody, visitation, and support.