Can I live in the same home with my husband while being legally separated if we have separate living quarters within the home?

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Can I live in the same home with my husband while being legally separated if we have separate living quarters within the home?

We have 3 children ages 5,2 and 1. We were friends before we began dating and still remain friends we just don’t love each other anymore and do not want to remain married. We do not want to be ruined financially and I do not work I have been looking for a job for over a year. In order to make a transition better for our children and be more stable financially we would like to live in the same home but be separated and date other people. can this be done and if so how? We have discussed this thoroughly for for more than a year and wish to do this in the best manner for all parties involved.

Asked on October 7, 2010 under Family Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You may file for a divorce if you and your spouse have lived apart continually for 1 year without any "cohabitation". VA courts have defined "co-habitation" as: (1) sharing of familial or financial responsibilities and (2) consortium. Possible factors establishing shared familial or financial responsibilities might include provisions for shelter, food, clothing, utilities, and/or commingled assets". Factors that might establish consortium include mutual respect, fidelity, affection, society, cooperation, solace, comfort, aid of each other, friendship, and conjugal relations".

At this point, you should consult with a divorce attorney in your area.


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