What is the advantage of being legally separated while filing for divorce? Common sense tells me that a separation PRIOR to a divorce is to afford a couple some time to possibly reconcile before filing for divorce. But, if you went straight for a divorce, would you need to file for a separation? If you never filed for separation and went straight for filing for divorce, could you legally begin dating other people during the waiting time? To make a long question shorter.. in the eyes of the law (and someone's religion), arent't you still LEGALLY married until the divorce is final? SO, it would be as if you are cheating if you begin dating while the divorce is still going through the courts?