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A termination of Cohabitation of Husband and Wife either by mutual agreement or, in the case of judicial separation, under the decree of a court.



West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


n. married persons living apart, either informally by one leaving the home or agreeing to "separate" while sharing a residence without sexual relations, or formally by obtaining a "legal separation" or negotiating a "separation agreement" setting out the terms of separate living. (See: separation agreement, legal separation)

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.


in family law in both England and Scotland, a court order ordaining and permitting the parties to live apart. A form of divorce by way of separation that does not, however, free the parties from the bonds of marriage. In terms it allows parties to live separately at bed and board or a mensa et thoro. In England, before the Matrimonial Causes Act 1857, a decree in these terms from the ecclesiastical courts was equivalent to a decree of judicial separation. In Scotland, prior to the Reformation, this was the only form of divorce known. Presently, the grounds are the same as those required to show IRRETRIEVABLE BREAKDOWN in divorce. The courts have the same powers in relation to financial orders and children as they do when making a decree of divorce. Judicial separation does not actually terminate the marriage and is therefore an appropriate course to take if there are religious objections to divorce or if the parties have not finally agreed to divorce. The term separation is also used more loosely to describe the situation arising when parties agree to live apart - frequently under the terms of a legally binding agreement (a separation agreement) that provides for the payment of money and the welfare of children. The term is used non-technically to describe people who are de facto living apart.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

SEPARATION, contracts. When the husband and wife agree to live apart they are said to have made a separation.
     2. Contracts of this kind are generally made by the husband for himself and by the wife with trustees. 4 Paige's R. 516; 3 Paige's R. 483; 5 Bligh, N. S. 339; 1 Dow & Clark, 519. This contract does not affect the marriage, and the parties may, at any time agree to live together as husband and wife. The husband who has agreed to a total separation cannot bring an action for criminal conversation with the wife. Roper, Hush. and Wife, passim; 4 Vin. Ab. 173; 2 Stark. Ev. 698; Shelf. on Mar. & Div. ch. 6, p. 608.
     3. Reconciliation after separation supersedes special articles of separation in courts of law and equity. 1 Dowl. P. C. 245; 2 Cox, R. 105; 3 Bro. C. C. 619, n.; 11 Ves. 532. Public policy forbids that parties should be permitted to make agreements for themselves to hold good whenever they choose to live separate. 5 Bligh, N. S. 367, 375; and see 1 Carr. & P. 36. See 5 Bligh, N. S. 339; 2 Dowl. P. C. 332; 2 C. & M. 388; 3 John. Ch. R. 521; 2 Sim. & Stu. 372; 1 Edw. R. 380; Desaus. R. 45, 198; 1 Y. & C. 28; 11 Ves. 526; 2 East, R. 283; 8 N. H. Rep. 350; 1 Hoff. R. 1.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
A different pattern displayed in some occupations is the vast majority of all net separations taking place in the youngest age groups.
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Separations pertain to those who were either laid off or voluntary quit their jobs.
"Long-term separation seems to be the low-cost, do-it-yourself alternative to divorce for many disadvantaged couples," reasons Dmitry Tumin, coauthor of the study and a doctoral student in sociology.
But while the parties to a divorce can agree to make maintenance nonmodifiable, (28) that is not the case in a legal separation. The Illinois Supreme Court has held that section 502(f) of the IMDMA (29) applies only to dissolutions, not to legal separations.
The hiring rate, or the job finders' share of the total number of workers, in 2007 fell by 0.1 percentage point from 2006 to 15.9 percent, while the job separation rate, or the share of those who lost jobs and retirees, dropped by 0.8 point to 15.4 percent.
On the basis of limited results, excluding the energy sector for which no conclusive data was found, vertical separations have had a negative impact on R&D.
The total separations, or turnover, rate (the number of separations during the month divided by employment) was 3.1 percent in May 2002, down significantly from 3.7 percent a year ago.
* Voluntary Separation Incentive Pay has been offered at Alexandria, Fort Eustis and some Rail Fleet locations, to reduce involuntary separations.
Jefferson made two other separations related to church and state: governmental law from church or religious sources and public education from church influence.
From home observations and mothers' reports when infants reached 3 months old, Fish and Belsky rated 60 of the 98 youngsters as "more distressprone." Mothers and babies visited Belsky's lab near the infants' first birthday; the researchers rated the security of each child's relationship with the mother based on responses to a series of brief separations, during which the child sat in a playroom with a female experimenter.