Physically separating from your spouse is different from a Legal Separation. A Legal Separation is very similar to a divorce. The Court will issue a Decree of Legal Separation just like it would a Decree of Dissolution of Marriage (aka divorce). In doing so, it will usually make orders for children, child support and spousal support (alimony), and property division. Once Legally Separated, either spouse can move to convert the Decree of Legal Separation into a Decree of Divorce. People thus wonder how a legal separation is different from a divorce.
A Legal Separation is pursued for financial, medical, or religious reasons. Divorce decrees are recognized by federal law, but Legal Separation decrees are unique to Colorado. So some opt for the legal separation to maintain health insurance benefits, which otherwise end with the divorce. Others prefer a legal separation for religious or personal reasons. While legally separated you cannot remarry, but you also cannot expect to live as a married couple. When you meet with your attorney, discuss your long-term concerns, and she will give you more information about whether a legal separation is a good option. Military spouses might especially consider this option.