The laws in the state where you live dictate how quickly that can happen.
In these states, the separation requirements range from 6-18 months, and in addition to living at separate residences, being separated usually also means not engaging in sexual relations with your spouse during that time.
As is the case with waiting periods (see below), some states increase the separation requirement when the parties have minor children.
Not all states have cooling off periods, but in those that do, it generally begins to run either as soon as the divorce is filed or once your spouse is served with divorce papers.
A separation period, on the other hand, is the amount of time that the spouses must be separated before getting a divorce.
The decision to end a marriage is one few people take lightly.
However, once the hard choice is made, most people want to move on as quickly as possible, and finalizing the divorce is a big part of that.