One of the questions that I'm frequently asked when women come in for consultations is "Am I separated?" or "How do I become separated?". In Virginia, unlike some other states, you don't go down to the courthouse and file for separation and you do not have to have signed a separation agreement in order to become separated. In Virginia, the way to become separated is to simply stop living together as "husband and wife" with your spouse and as long as at least one of you intends to end the marriage at that point, you simply are separated. It's not a status that you need to file for in court and it's not something you have to sign an agreement for to attain "separation" status. You can in fact live separate and apart under the same roof, but there are certain precautions that you need to take (which we'll discuss with you at another time) to ensure that the court knows that you are in fact living separate and apart. But, once you're no longer living together as husband and wife and at least one of you intends to end the marriage, you are separated. It's as easy as that. For more information go to www.freedivorcebook.com where you can obtain the book "What Every Virginia Woman Should Know About Divorce"