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.
Co-Parenting is difficult. Emotions run high when parties separate, especially if they are involved in a child custody dispute through a divorce or parentage action. When a relationship ends, hurt feelings about the other parent can trickle down to the kids. Intentional or not, negative comments about the other party made in front of the kids hurts them, not your ex. Here is an article with some helpful tips on how to handle your bad-mouthing ex. My Ex Keeps Tashing Me to the Kids! What Should I Do?