Supreme Court rules-Live in relationships will be presumed married


Want to get into a live-in relationship ?Here are the rights you need to know!

A live in relationship gives the couple an opportunity to know the partner without having to engage into a legally binding relationship.

India has witnessed a drastic change in the way the present generation perceive their relationships.The taboo that used to haunt partners in live-in relationships has also started to fade away with society opening up about the idea of premarital sex and live-in relationships.

     Live in

This improved mindset is a result of freedom,privacy,profession,education and also globalization.Moreover for most of us-it is not an escape from responsibilities but a way to understand our partner and to check if at all we are compatible.

Legal status of live- in relationship under Indian Law

According to the rule announced by the Supreme Court ,if an unmarried couple is living together as husband and wife,then they would be presumed to be legally married and the woman would have the complete right to inherit the property after the death of her partner.

The Supreme Court has since 2010 consistently ruled in favour of couples living together as husband and wife,giving the women the right of a wife.

There is no specific law to regulate live-in relationships in India and ‘The Hindu Marriage Act,1955’ does not recognize such relationships.However ,the Protection of Women for Domestic Violence Act ,2005 recognizes the right of women in a live-in relationship which is ‘in the nature of marriage’ to receive maintenance / alimony and protection against any form of abuse.

The Supreme Court defined live in relationships in five distinct ways – a domestic cohabitation between an adult unmarried man and adult unmarried female.This is the simplest kind of relationship.

On a broader perspective

However in most western countries there is a broader understanding of the idea of a couple in a relationship,which is evident in the their legal recognition of prenuptial agreements,civil and domestic union of couples etc.

While the Apex court‘s reassertion has been hailed by the progressive lot in the society ,many are still circumspect on how much of change it will bring about in a country where friendship between a boy and a girl are still frowned upon and a majority still hesitate to provide accommodation to single men and women.

The young generation though has welcomed the liberal view of the judiciary as it gives them the freedom to choose their partner and to live with them.

In another instance,the Apex court even declared that a man and a woman in love to live together is part of the right to live and not a “criminal offence”.Therefore live-in relationships are legal in India.




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