When you and your spouse have separated but do not have grounds for divorce, you can apply to the court for the right to live separate and apart. This is done through an action for “separate maintenance and support,” which is a claim for spousal support. If the court considers issues of alimony, child support or child custody at this time, it can also deal with equitable division of marital property. Separation officially begins on the day that the spouses no longer live together.

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