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By Emily DoskowAttorney. A separation isn't the same as a divorce. Separation means that you are living apart from your spouse, but you're still legally married until you get a judgment of divorce from a court even if you already have a judgment of separation. However, generally a separation does affect the financial responsibilities between you and your spouse before the divorce is final. There are three different types of separation.

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One night while on a dating app, I came across the profile of one of my male friends and did a double take: He's married. I messaged him and found out he and his wife are separated and dating other people. But apparently, his health insurance plan is better than hers, so they're putting the brakes on their plans to get divorced for the time being.

It turns out they're far from the only couple that lives separate lives from each other, yet stays legally married indefinitely.

Different types of separation: trial, permanent, and legal separation

On the other hand, there also may be practical and emotional reasons to avoid the finality of a divorce, Kapka said, such as staying together for the sake of the children. While the effective difference between legal separation and divorce may be minimal, anyone trying to navigate the waters between the two should speak to a matrimonial attorney to discuss their options, she said.

Karen Bigman, a divorce coach and founder of The Divorciergetold Insider that although there is no time limit on staying separated, but emotionally, it may be an obstacle to moving forward in a new relationship. Read on to see why eight people chose to stay legally married to their spouses instead of getting divorced. Some subjects interviewed were given permission to remain anonymous or use only their first name in order to protect their anonymity.

Alicia, 46, and her husband separated in Over the years, their reason for staying married has evolved, she told Insider.

Different types of separation: trial, permanent, and legal separation

Initially, she went to a lawyer to pay for her half of the divorce, but her husband would not return her calls or the lawyer's. And for me, this was important enough to remain married to a man that I did not want to be married to anymore.

One year-old man, who chose to remain anonymous, has been separated from his wife for almost four years. Initially, it was a trial separation, but when reconciliation didn't seem possible, they started to entertain the idea of divorce, he told Business Insider. Will divorce be inevitable? I have no idea, but for now this works for us and that's the best either of us can hope for, given the circumstances.

In about a year and a half, the fixed rate on the mortgage will end, he said, and he should be able to take it under his own name. He and his wife will also then go to Spain to finalize any paperwork and formally divorce. Keith, 53, and his wife separated in She moved to Missouri while he stayed in Southern California.

They have three children who are now in college. But he said getting divorced will be part of his to-do list inalthough it's not a top priority. However, they have a formal separation agreement in place to cover everything, since the legal, financial, and custodial implications can be huge, he said.

For example, in North Carolina, it is still legal for a spouse to sue the other spouse's lover for "Alienation of Affection" and "Criminal Conversation," but a separation agreement waives that, allowing each partner to date other people, he said. But unless one of us decides to remarry, we are both pretty happy with the arrangement.

Pros and cons of long-term separation

However, if his business expands to the point he can offer healthcare through it, Christopher said he intends to finalize the divorce, just to get it over with. Miranda, 39, and her husband co-parent their 7-year-old twins. The couple has been separated for four years and she says they operate as a unit for the. The legal steps, for our situation, just don't warrant the expense, hassle, or stress.

What happens if you are separated for 14 years but never got legally divorced?

Plus, although she said she is not opposed to the possibility of a new relationship, it's not her priority right now, so being "legally single" hasn't factored into her decision, she said. Instead, she is focused on enjoying the transition, her children, and her independence. She said the friendly part didn't just happen, but took time, many angry conversations, perspective, and honest conversations to get them to this point.

She also has a boyfriend now. Coincidentally, her parents separated after 27 years of marriage and also remained friendly, she said.

8 people reveal why they stayed married after separating from their spouse

World globe An icon of the world globe, indicating different international options. Get the Insider App. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation. Natalia Lusinski. Some couples choose to stay married even after legally separating and leading separate lives.

Reasons to stay legally married include for tax and insurance purposes, or because divorce is simply too expensive. We spoke to eight people who gave their reasons for not filing for divorce. Visit Insider's home for more stories.

Living apart: different from legal separation

This woman stays married so that she and her children can continue to be covered by her husband's health and dental insurance. One man said he and his wife will stay married until he can put the mortgage for their house in his own name. Another man and his wife simply haven't found the time or demand to file for divorce. Lower insurance costs keep this couple legally married.

One woman said neither she nor her husband plan to marry again, so they don't want the expense, hassle, or stress of getting divorced.

Taxes are one reason this couple stays legally married. And one woman is remaining married to her husband because of his excellent, and inexpensive, health insurance plan.

Relationships Separation Freelancer.