Being separated means spouses live separate and apart while remaining legally married. Therefore, you can't marry a new partner while separated.
When discussing separation, it’s important to note the term “legal separation.”
Legal separation means spouses request a legal separation order from the court. This order may specify things like property division, alimony, and child custody and support. You can use a Separation Agreement to sort out these matters with your spouse before seeking a legal separation.
In the United States, 43 states recognize legal separations. The seven states that don’t recognize legal separation are:
Since legal separation allows spouses to live separate lives while remaining legally married, it can be a solution for those unable to divorce. For example, some spouses may not divorce for religious reasons.
While legally separated, spouses may still be considered married for purposes of taxes, insurance, healthcare, and other legal matters.
In some states, a legal separation can be a basis for a later divorce. If the couple decides to end their marriage permanently, they may be able to convert the legal separation into a divorce by filing additional paperwork.