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“Legal separation” is factually based in Virginia.  It is normally the date when spouses stop living in the same residence.   There are other factual circumstances that the Courts may consider, however.  These facts may include but not be limited to whether the parties have separate bedrooms, separate bank accounts, file taxes separately, eat meals separately, go to children’s functions separately, and otherwise present themselves to the public as being separated.  If parties cannot agree on a date of separation, then the Courts may use these facts to decide.  Be careful, though, as there is public policy in Virginia that states that the Courts may not do anything that may constitute promoting divorce; as a result, some Courts may find that no separation exists for divorce purposes unless the parties are in entirely separate residences.  This can be a difficult area to navigate and working with a family law attorney is important.
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