When you know that your marriage is over, you can do two things. The first is that you can file for a divorce. The other option is that you can file a legal separation. These are two very different options that you need to think about carefully.
One important thing to know about a separation is that it might not have to be a permanent ordeal. It is possible to enter into a trial separation that enables you and your spouse to live apart while you try to determine if you want to keep the marriage alive or if you are ready to just call it quits.
When you enter into a legal separation, you will go through a process that is similar to a divorce. If the separation is permanent, you will divide up the property in the same way that you would in a divorce. You will also have to go through the process of determining what is going to happen with the children.
A legal separation can offer you some protections. If the separation is permanent, any debts your spouse incurs after the separation date aren't your responsibility. Of course, you still need to take steps to protect your credit. This includes closing joint accounts so that your ex can't run up bills that you will have to pay.
In any case, you need to find out your rights and responsibilities. These points might help you decide what you are going to do. Fortunately, you can find the answers to most questions so that your decision is an informed one.
Source: FindLaw, "Legal Separation vs. Divorce," accessed June 09, 2017