Last summer, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper separated from Helen Thorpe, his wife of 10 years. He moved into the Governor's Mansion, but his wife and child remained in the family home.
The couple did not give a reason for the separation but implied that the move was not necessarily a step to divorce in the immediate future. News reports now say that Thorpe offered to stay with the Governor if he decided to run for President, but he did not do so.
In Colorado, legal separation can be an alternative to divorce for couples who want to part ways but do not want to officially divorce for, say, religious or political reasons. Legal separation in Colorado allows a couple to reach agreements on things normally associated with divorce, such as property division and child custody, but the couple remains married on paper.
Legal separation can also allow the couple to maintain healthcare or other benefits that one might receive through his or her partner, but which might end in the instance of an official divorce. Once the legal separation has been in effect for six months, however, either spouse may opt to go ahead and follow through with an actual divorce.
When they separated, the Governor and his wife said that they still expected to spend a lot of time together as a family. For example, they followed through with a scheduled family vacation, and they planned to continue to share meals. They also assured the public that they were still comfortable attending functions with one another.
The public announcement of the separation stressed that the separation was not due to infidelity and indicated that the Governor and wife sought extensive marital counseling before finally reaching their decision to separate.
Source: thedenverchannel.com "Colorado governor John Hickenlooper said wife offered to stay for presidential run," Jan. 22, 2013