Living Separate and Apart Law and Legal Definition

Living separate and apart refers to spouses living in different places without any intention of resuming marital relations. Spouses living apart for a specific period is a valid ground for divorce.

The following is an example of a state statute explaining that living separate and apart is a ground for divorce. “When married persons have been living separate and apart for a period of two years or more, either party to the marriage contract may sue, in the courts of his or her residence within this state, provided such residence shall have been continuous for a period of two years, for an absolute divorce, which shall be granted on proof of the continuous living separate and apart of the spouses, during the period of two years or more”. [La. R.S. 9:301]

“Living separate and apart means a complete cessation of all marital duties and relations between husband and wife and their living separate and apart in such a manner that those in the neighborhood may see that they are not living together”. [De Rienzo v. De Rienzo, 119 N.J. Super. 192, 194 (Ch. Div. 1972)]