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Because he is semi-retired Geoff is around during the day for the children, and he admits he loves doing it on his own when Laurel is away.

"We both find it easier with the children when one of us is not home."The pair acknowledge the situation may not be permanent.

Having decided to separate, we always assumed one of us was going to move out."READ MORE * Too rich to split?

House prices up, divorce rates down * Prenup floating house can split apart if you divorce * Divorce court orders brick wall through house The couple say their two sons, then aged five and eight, were their first consideration in deciding on the living arrangement.

I am semi-retired and Laurel's income fluctuates, so we wouldn't be able to continue our respective lifestyles.

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Our 12-year-old daughter has severe epilepsy, takes four serious drugs every day, and her seizures are not yet controlled."But there won't be any home games.""I am not sure I ever want to live permanently with someone else," says Laurel."There are other ways to have a relationship."Christmas is not shared, however.Truth: While the idea of "test driving" a car before you buy it is a good idea, it doesn't apply to marriage.Living together is basically a "pretend marriage" and nothing like the real thing."We felt it was a lot easier to be open about it.""Lorna really helped both of us challenge the norms and simply change the form of our marriage, and do what worked for us, rather than what 'everyone else did' or thought we should do. Next, we drew up and agreed a handful of guidelines around child care, finances, holidays, Christmas, socialising and dating other people. Then we both got on with living our 'separate but together' lives, and over time, it just became 'what we do'."In her frank blog, Laurel refers to the arrangement as "werewives and wasbands – a new form of marriage".

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