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Is a legal separation the same as a divorce.

No, legally speaking, a separation is very different from a divorce. A divorce is a legal proceeding whereby spouses cease to be husband and wife. A separation occurs when the couple is living apart but are still legally married. In the case of what is known as a legal separation, a judge will rule on the property issues, child custody, visitation, and support, but will not grant a divorce. The couple has divided their household but are still husband and wife.