Legal separation is essentially the same as divorce, and costs the same. The only real difference is, with a legal separation, you are still legally married.
In a legal separation, the parties involved divide assets, debts, property, determine child custody, child support, and alimony. Legal separation is often confused with a separation. In a separation, the parties live separate lives without court involvement. This is frequently done on a trial basis before proceeding to a divorce.
A legal separation is an option for individuals who, for religious or other reasons, do not want to be divorced. Often it can be used if one spouse needs to remain on the insurance of the other. There are several pros and cons of a legal separation, outlined below.