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Cohabitation  (COHABITATION)

In many countries including some in which the principle of the indissolubility of marriage1 is upheld by the law, there may yet exist judicial separation2 sometimes called separation a mensa et toro2. A judicial separation absolves the parties from certain obligations, including the duty of living together or cohabitation3 (cf. 503-3), but does not enable either of them to contract a new marriage. Persons whose marriages have been broken by a separation are called separated persons4. Dissolution of marriage by a de facto separation5, or the desertion6 of one of the spouses by the other is not uncommon in some societies. Such separation must be distinguished from judicial separation. Marriages in which the spouses no longer cohabit, but which have not been legally dissolved may be called broken marriages7.

  • 2. In English law, both divorce and judicial separation may be granted by the High Court of Justice. There is also separation by means of a separation order granted by a Court of Petty Sessions, the lowest court in the judicial hierarchy,