In some states, divorcing couples must complete a period of separation before their marriage can be finalized. The length of this period of separation is prescribed by state law and may vary from 30 days to six months, or even a year, depending upon the state in which you are getting divorced and the circumstance of your divorce.
In most states, your period of separation begins the day you stop sleeping in the same room as your spouse and as well as the date you stop having physical marital relations with your spouse. The latter of those two will be considered your date of separation for divorce purposes
Most people understand that if either spouse moves out of their marital home, the couple may be considered separated. But, what most don’t know is that in some states there is also something like an in-home separation or same roof-separation, as they are called.
If you are still sleeping in the same home and in the same bed with your spouse, you are not really separated from them, even if the two of you are not having physical marital relations. However, if you are sleeping in another room in the same house, some states will consider this separation as well.
This has a lot to do with the financial reality that most couples can’t afford to have two separate residences while their divorce is still pending and their financial accounts haven’t been divided. Therefore, divorcing couples are often stuck under the same roof for a while.
So, if it takes 30 days of separation to obtain the divorce, your state may allow you to accrue those days while living in separate quarters in the same home. This may enable one or even both spouses to save the money needed to obtain their own separate residences after the divorce is finalized.
Physical relations with your spouse can affect your separation period
The most important part that divorcing couple often miss regarding the separation time period, is that during this period, they have to stop having physical relations with each other.
Believe it or not, there are many divorcing couples who remain physically attracted to each other and continue to have physical relations throughout the entire divorce process. But, every time they do, they’re technically resetting the required separation period’s clock.
Even if they are living in different residences, every time they have marital relations during the pendency of their divorce, they are technically resetting the separation clock back to zero. For this reason, the actual separation requirement can be thought of as a certain period of separation with no intimacy between you and your spouse during that time.
You may be wondering how anyone would know if you and your spouse had sex while your divorce is pending. Well, sometimes, one party may induce the other party into one last go-around before the divorce is finalized. Then they report back to their attorney or tell the court about this interlude in order to stall a divorce that they are not happy with or do not want.
For more precise information regarding how long you should be separated in your state, contact a local family law attorney.