It is not common to seek a Legal Separation because usually efforts and financial resources are better spent on resolving the marital issues and at some point in the future seeking an Absolute Divorce.
There is no requirement in the District of Columbia that you obtain a Legal Separation before you file for an Absolute Divorce.
Many people first attempt to negotiate a Separation and Property Settlement Agreement to resolve the marital issues and then live according to the terms of the agreement as a contract.
Once the agreement is executed, the parties can proceed to file for an Uncontested Divorce if they so choose. The best way to maintain personal control over the outcome of your situation is to attempt a negotiated solution to the issues involved.
This can be done by sitting down directly with your spouse to work on an agreement, by going to mediation with your spouse, or by hiring an attorney to negotiate a settlement on your behalf or to assist you through the mediation process.