sep·a·rate /'se-pə-ˌrāt/ vb -rat·ed, -rat·ing
vt: to cause the separation of
vi: to undergo a separation
the couple separated last year compare divorce

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I adjective alone, apart, asunder, departing, detached, different, disassociated, disconnected, disiunctus, disjoined, disjointed, disjunct, disparate, disrelated, dissimilar, dissociated, distinct, disunited, divergent, diverse, divided, divorced, independent, individual, insular, isolated, lone, loose, parted, removed, secluded, secretus, segregated, separated, separatus, set apart, severed, solitary, split, sundered, unaccompanied, unaffiliated, unallied, unassociated, unattached, unattended, unconnected associated concepts: separate action, separate cause of action, separate maintenance II verb alienate, break, break off, break up, cleave, come apart, come between, cut adrift, cut off, detach, disassociate, disband, disconnect, disengage, disiungere, disjoin, dismember, dispart, disperse, dissever, dissociate, dissolve, disunite, divide, exclude, fractionize, hold apart, intersect, keep apart, part, part company, part ways, rend, rive, rupture, section, sectionalize, segment, segregate, separare, set apart, sever, splinter, split, split up, sunder, tear, unbind, uncouple, unloose, unmarry, unravel, untie, unyoke, winnow associated concepts: annul, divorce III index alienate (estrange), alone (solitary), apart, bifurcate, bipartite, classify, cross (intersect), cull, demarcate, detach, dichotomize, different, disaffect, disband, disconnected, discontinue (abandon), discontinue (break continuity), discrete, discriminate (distinguish), disengage, disentangle, disjoint, disjunctive (tending to disjoin), disorganize, disparate, disperse (scatter), dissociate, distill, distinct (distinguished from others), distinguish, divide (separate), estrange, except (exclude), excise (cut away), exclusive (singular), extract, extrinsic, foreign, impertinent (irrelevant), individual, insular, insulate, interrupt, irrelative, isolate, liberate, luxate, particular (individual), particular (specific), private (secluded), purge (purify), relegate, remove (eliminate), screen (select), secede, seclude, sequester (seclude), sequester (seize property), sever, singular, sole, solitary, sort, split, sporadic, subdivide, substantive, unrelated, withdraw

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

Not connected with something; distinct; forming an entity or unit by itself.
(1) To divide; to move apart; to place a boundary between things.
(2) For a judge to order witnesses at a trial to stay out of the courtroom except for when they are testifying.
(3) For a husband and wife to move into different homes intending to no longer live together as a couple, often as a precursor to divorce; if the separation is ordered by a court, it is called a legal separation.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

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