The previous post discussed filing for legal separation or for divorce has similar legal effect. Both actions divide debt and property, award child support or spousal maintenance (alimony) and establish a parenting plan (determination of a residential schedule or legal custody).
Whatever the reason may be, more often than not I suggest filing for divorce. It is not because I am a sadist and enjoy seeing a once, happily married couple struggle through the painful ending of their relationship. It is because, practically speaking, filing for divorce can be more efficient and cost effective than filing for legal separation. Unless being legally separated is preferable for religious reasons, health insurance coverage, military benefits or other purposes.