noun

  • 1An arrangement by which a couple remain married but live apart, following a court order.

    Also called judicial separation
    • ‘It couldn't hurt to do some browsing to see what constitutes a legal separation, and to know your rights ahead of time.’
    • ‘Many unhappy spouses simply ran away or sought a legal separation.’
    • ‘Spouses may achieve a legal separation simply by drawing up a deed of separation.’
    • ‘Presumably, these rights would include the right to seek a legal separation, and to seek a divorce.’
    • ‘Thanksgiving came and went, and Marie's lawyer notified me that she was filing for a legal separation.’
  • 2An arrangement by which a child lives apart from a natural parent and with the other natural parent or a foster parent, following a court order.