A source told People that husband and wife are "not giving up" on their marriage and continue to speak on the phone several times a day. "It's not contentious between them," a source said.
The couple usually spend their shared 25 September birthdays together, but this year celebrated apart.
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Catherine remained at home in Bedford, New York with their two children, Dylan, 13, and 10-year-old Carys, while Michael was hard at work shooting his new thriller The Reach in New Mexico.
Despite that though, sources say there is "hope" for the pair. "This is a separation, not a split. Not a divorce," an insider confirmed.
Certainly the couple have been tested in recent times with 69-year-old Michael's battle with throat cancer and Catherine's diagnosis with bipolar.
On top of that, Michael's son Cameron, from his marriage to Diandra Luker, has been in solitary confinement for two years now after a conviction on drug charges, and his father hasn't been able to see him for more than 12 months.
But tellingly Catherine, 44, was very much on Michael's mind as he accepted an Emmy for his portrayal of Liberace in Behind the Candelabra.
Despite the fact she was thousands of miles away at the opening of the Qingdao Oriental Movie Metropolis in China, Michael paid tribute to his spouse.
"I want to thank my wife Catherine for my support, my kids Dylan and Carys, and my oldest son Cameron, and hoping I'll be able, and they'll allow me, to see him soon," said the acclaimed actor, his wedding band still in place.
Backstage, he said he was "hopeful" his marriage would get back on track. "Everybody is fine. Nothing really more to say," he told Entertainment Tonight. "We were just taking a little break. We're talking. I think everything will be fine and I'm very hopeful."
Certainly fans are hoping that the couple find their way back to each other. They can perhaps take comfort from Catherine's stance on the sanctity of marriage.
"I find divorces repulsive," she has previously stated, admitting it is "in her genes" to stay married for life. "I will never get divorced, never."