And to speak to the flip side of all this - as soon as kids are involved, it doesn't matter whether you are married, common-law, dating or had a one-night stand. Your lives are forever entangled, whether you live together or apart, or whether you can stand each other or not. Child support laws are pretty clear here and visitation/custody orders and agreements are supported. You may become exes, but you will have to associate with them, negotiate with them, and share tax information with them until the youngest child is fully grown. It kind of defeats the purpose of "breaking up" when you have to spend 20 years dealing with one another. It has become a society where marriage means very little but you better darn well think 2 or 3 dozen times before you have a child with someone. Unfortunately, few people understand the full extent of this.