Marital Separation Law and Legal Definition

Separation period to be undertaken by a couple before they take the step of going through a divorce is called marital separation. The period of marital separation granted in each case varies according to state. Both couples should leave at separate address during this time. During this period the couples should not have any marital relationship like sleeping in the same bed. One person occupying a separate bedroom or sleeping on the couch will not satisfy the legal definition of marital separation. A marital separation is granted in the form of a court order, which can also be in the form of a legally-binding consent decree. Marital separation is also known as judicial separation, legal separation, separate maintenance, divorce a mensa et thoro,and divorce from bed-and-board.