Divorced/Separated - Can of worms
Merriam-Webster lists "divorced" and "separated" as synonyms.
For many ex-marriages, being "separated" is simply a formality before the law will allow them to "divorce" or there is some other reason holding them back (financial, stubbornness, etc)
My brother, for instance, was "separated" for three years before he got "divorced" because his exW wouldn't sign the divorce papers because they said she cheated on him. She did cheat on him, and she admitted it, but she wouldn't sign. Eventually, he got fed up and changed the papers to not include the truth.
Was there any chance they'd get back together? A world of no. She was living with her new BF (TOM) and he was dating as well.
A friend of mine "separated" from her exH with no chance of getting back together, but the law said they had to live apart for a year before they could "divorce." So they did, but in her heart, they "divorced" they day she grabbed her car keys and ran out the door.
I know a couple who were married for 30+ years, grew apart and did a "trial separation" for three months. At the end, they decided they did not want to reunite, but didn't "divorce" for three years because of what the housing market was doing at the time.
I could keep going here, listing ex-marriages, who were "separated" and not going to reunite, but didn't "divorce" for one reason or another.
My point? We as outsiders, have no idea why people do or don't "divorce" immediately after they "separate." We as outsiders have no right or reason to judge people for these reasons. Their own lives and their own business are just that, theirs and not ours. Which synonym the papers used doesn't always matter; if a marriage is over, and the participants have split up, then what's passed is past and it's none of our business.
I realize I might not be able to change people's minds on this, but I can't not try.