Even celebrities with the most apparently charmed existences can hit rough patches in their personal lives.

As a case in point, actors Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan-Tatum, who met on the set of a movie and eventually married, recently announced that they have chosen to separate. The celebrities are parents to a 4-year-old daughter and are bringing to an end an 8-year-long union.

It is important to note that choosing to separate and choosing to divorce are two different things. While a divorce permanently ends a marital relationship, a legal separation preserves a marriage but gives a couple enforceable rights and responsibilities toward each other that allow the partners to live separate lives. In Florida, couples may legally separate if they do not meet the residency requirements of filing for divorce when they intend to start their legal proceedings.

In this story, as the two partners to this ending relationship share a child, they may focus some of their attention on preparing agreements that dictate how they will share in the custodial and financial aspects of co-parenting their daughter. They may establish agreements related to how they will divide up their shared assets such as accounts and parcels of real property. They may work out if one partner will support the other financially or if they will each support themselves during their separation.

A divorce ends a marriage, but many of the same considerations are made during a legal separation. It is possible that Tatum and Dewan-Tatum will eventually divorce, but if they do they may have some of their legal negotiations taken care of by virtue of first going through the separation process.

Source: etonline.com, “Channing Tatum and Jenna Dewan Tatum Separate After 8 Years of Marriage,” Liz Calvario, April 2, 2018