Voluntary separation is when two parties agree that they need to go their own ways. Even though it may not start out as a "voluntary" situation, the parties can eventually come to a mutual agreement that separation was inevitable.
Most states require that you live separately for the statutory period of time. This means no cohabitation. Separation means residing (and sleeping) in different locations at all times. Separate bedrooms in the same house do not constitute a separation.
The courts distinguish between separation and "desertion", which is when one of the parties leaves without the intention of returning. If the other person forces you to leave, that is "constructive desertion." You won't be penalized by the court if you leave for your own protection or that of the child(ren).
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