You do not have to file a legal document to begin a separation, although some people prefer to do so.
Second, once you are separated, are there any restrictions on forming relationships with other people? With limited exceptions, once you are separated, you are generally free to date anyone who wants to date you with one big exception.
If infidelity/adultery — an intimate relationship with someone other than your spouse prior to separating — is an issue, then continuing a relationship with that same person after the separation can be used as evidence to prove adultery. Proof of adultery may affect alimony and child custody.
If you are in that situation, your legal situation becomes more complicated and discussing the specifics with your lawyer is important.
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