ENDING THE MARRIAGE
Caution: This page contains ONLY GENERAL LEGAL INFORMATION.
It is NOT LEGAL ADVICE nor a replacement for talking to a lawyer
and getting legal advice about your case.
The law can be complicated and the details of a case can be even more complicated!
There are exceptions for every rule.
What you do not know can harm you. Do not rely on general legal information.
AT YOUR OWN RISK.
When a relationship breaks down, when one separates, one will need to deal with the issues that arise - arrangements for children, support for the formal spouse or child, equalization of property, etc. This can be done with a Separation Agreement or Court Order.
In the law, whether one is separation is a question of fact. It is an issue of intent and behavior.
For the most part, the law, government, and even businesses focus on whether your are separate.
The status of being married has certain impacts:
inheritance - if the person you are married to dies without a Will, you will inherit part of his or her estate (and the same applies if you die without a Will)
health benefits - some policies allow an estranged spouse to be continued to covered, but not if there is a divorce
immigration - your ability to be sponsor someone or be sponsored may be affected by whether you are still married
re-marriage - one needs to prove the divorce to get a marriage license
there can be other consequences of still being married
However, you do not need to legally end the marriage to form a new relationship or cohabitate with someone else.