A legal separation is when a married couple separates and seeks a court judgment for spousal support, child custody, visitation, and support, but does not file for a divorce. Legal separation is often a prequel to divorce, but it does not automatically lead to that result. If the future of your marriage is uncertain you should discuss the option of legal separation with a knowledgeable divorce attorney. Couples are still legally married in a legal separation but are allowed to live apart and have the ability to manage their own property, assets, and debts. If children are involved, the couple must still go through the same legal processes to determine child custody, visitation, child support, and alimony.