Legal separation dating

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New start: Jenny and Phil divorced following a trial separation Psychotherapist Phillip Hodson, who has seen a rise in couples coming to him for mediation before considering trial splits, warns: ‘Separation dissolves cohabitation but not marriage, and gives no excuse for adultery.

‘Couples need to stay monogamous to fix a relationship.

Adding a third or fourth party is just asking for trouble. If they do, they may well find it’s a deal breaker.’Some high-profile couples have, however, managed to mend their marriages even when their trial separations were punctuated by infidelity.

TV host Zoe Ball famously had an affair with DJ Dan Peppe during a split from her husband, DJ Norman Cook.

For Jenny and Phil Wright it was the slow descent into silence that precipitated their trial ­separation.

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Although Phil was delighted his wife had embraced new opportunities, their time together was eroded and when they could snatch a few spare minutes together they were exhausted.‘I knew things were going wrong between us, but there never seemed to be a right time to raise it,’ says Jenny.‘Our happiness came to a shuddering halt,’ she explains.‘I’d come in from a long shift to find Stephen asleep on the sofa and, despite having spent 12 hours at work, I’d still have to make dinner.‘I’d ask every day how the interviews and applications were going, but things went from tense to ­cataclysmic very quickly.Certainly, trial separations seem to have become a modus vivendi in the celebrity world.Hollywood actors Courteney Cox and David Arquette, married for 11 years, are the latest in a line of A-listers to announce they are taking a break from each other.

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