Post separation support (PSS)

If a couple has hundreds of thousands in assets, and each party has over $100,000 of cash at the time of separation, will PSS be required, or will support for the dependent spouse be required only as alimony once an absolute divorce has taken place? Also, if the higher earning spouse is nearing retirement age (late 50’s) and feels burned out and has no job by the time divorce papers are filed, would they be expected to pay alimony to the dependent spouse? In any event, would these things be spelled out in a separation agreement?

Support in a separation agreement is in whatever amount, and whatever duration the parties agree to.
If the parties cannot agree on support and reduce that agreement to a written Separation agreement will end up in court on the issues of PSSS and Alimony.
PSS is awarded as temporary alimony (before assets are distributed), and does not therefore include a consideration of asset distribution. Separate property and the distribution of martial property is considered in making a determination of alimony.
Income and earning potential, and age of the parties are all considered in making an award of alimony.

Okay, to follow up, i’ll ignore the assets, and ask merely this: if the dependent spouse has $100,000 in his/her own individual (non joint) bank account, i would think their lawyer couldn’t really argue that they need PSS (since this is plenty to live off for a year) even if they would need alimony at the time of a divorce. is that correct?

No, a dependant spouse cannot be expected to deplete his or her savings to live as they did during the marriage, and can be awarded support.