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Live In Relationship In India In Contrast With Foreign Countries

This research paper explores the concept of live-in relationships in India, including its legal recognition and changing societal attitudes towards it. This research paper contains the basic meaning of live-in relationships. The study uses a descriptive research method and collects data from various secondary sources such as articles, research papers, journals, reports, and newspapers.

This research paper compares the situation of live-in relationships in India and other countries. The research finds that live-in relationships are becoming more accepted in urban areas of India but are still considered taboo in rural areas due to conservative cultural beliefs. The paper explores the national commission of women's Recommendations.

This research discusses the conditions of children born of live-in relationships. However, it is legal for individuals to be in a live-in relationship in India, and female partners have the same rights as legally married women under Section 1251 of CrPc.This research describes the difference between a marriage and a live-in relationship. This paper compares the pros and cons of live-in relationships.

Overall, this paper provides valuable insights into the emergence and acceptance of live-in relationships in India. But at the same time, it is not so much clear as to the rights of the male individual in a live-in relationship

Live-in relationships are the type of relationship in which two people Live-in the same house and have a sexual relationship with each other but are not married to each other. It is generally a term used for two heterosexual individuals living together and having sexual relationships with each other. This situation was usually seen in the western part of the world but now it also came into the eastern part i:e India too.

It is usually an informal relationship that does not have legal recognition in many parts of the world. This can also be done when one does not want to marry someone but still want to have a relationship with the significant other like marriage with sexual relationships.

The Live-in relationship early on was hidden from society due to the fact that a marriage is a sacrament in Indian people's eyes and the Live-in relationship would be making a joke on the sacred marriage. But with the advancement of time and the emergence of many new systems, the Live-in relationship is becoming more and more open.

This situation happens when one wants all the events of marriage but does not want to take up the responsibility of marriage and wants to be open or free in his/her relationship. The increase in Live-in relationships is also due to the fact that people nowadays are more open-minded than the previous generations. Generally, the Live-in relationship is looked down upon.

In a Live-in relationship, the relationship of the two people is open and walk in and out of the relationship which means that anyone and everyone can come into it with the permission or without the permission of the other and anyone can leave whenever they feel like it as there is no string attached and therefore no responsibility of anyone on anyone.

However Live-in relationships are not of Indian culture and customs so the reason for it being looked down upon is the same as it is not of traditions and it violates many customs as marriage is sacred in Indian culture. It will be explained further in the paper below.

What it is
There is no legal definition of what a live-in relationship is but it is generally presumed that it is "A type of relationship in which two partners live under the same house and have a sexual relationship with the consent of each other but are not married to each other"

What it means is that any two people are said to be in a Live-in relationship when they are living under the same roof and are having a sexual relationship with each other that is consented to.

What It Means
Basically, a live-in relationship is an informal arrangement in which two persons either heterosexual or attracted to any other sex, live together with each other for a period of time and have a sexual relationship with each other and they are not married to each other is what a Live-in relationship is with the consent of each other.

Situation Of Live-In Relationships In Other Countries:

  1. France:
    • Civil Solidarity pact of 'Pacte civil de solidarite2' or what is known as PaCS which was passed in October 1999 in the French national assembly governs the topic of Live-in relationships.
    • It says that a stable and continuous relationship between either two heterosexual individuals or same-sex individuals living together as a couple.
    • It also says that the two adults should be consenting and are not bound by any pact such as marriage, siblings, or lineage.
  2. Scotland:
    • The topic of Live-in relationships is governed and identified in the Family law act 2006 of France which legalized Live-in relationships in Scotland.
    • Over 100000 Live-in relationships were recognized legally for the first time after the passing of the act of 2006 in France.
    • It is based on three criteria which are:
      • The length of the relationship in which they lived together.
      • The nature of their relationship when they lived together.
      • And any type of financial arrangements made by them.
  3. Canada:
    • Canada was one of the proactive nations in legalizing the Live-in relationship as valid relationships.
    • But there were some criteria which were to be followed, which are:
      • Both individuals must be of at least 18 years of age.
      • They must be living together for at least a year or 12 continuous months or cohabiting together after the age of 18 for at least one year.
  4. Ireland:
    • In Ireland, Live-in relationships are valid relationships.
    • The government of Ireland introduced new legislation which introduced certain legal rights for Live-in relationship individuals.
    • The scheme tells that the "separated" individuals can demand maintenance and share of property just as a marriage when they meet a certain criterion, the criteria is that they must be living for at least 3 years or 2 years if they have a child together.
    • This new legislation riled up the public and divided them into two fronts, one that does not want this law to be applied and the other that wants this law to be applied.
    • This law was made due to the increase in the cases of one suddenly leaving and leaving the other strained financially, so this new legislation was aimed to support the vulnerable in times of emergency or other individual's death.
  5. United Kingdom:
    • A live-in relationship is governed by the Civil partnership act of 2004 of the United Kingdom but refers to Live-in relationships as "common law spouses" when they have a stable and lasting sexual relationship but they are not referred to as a Live-in relationship in the United Kingdom.
    • The law in the United Kingdom places less value on the Live-in relationship than marriage because in 2010 there was a note that was passed from the home affaire section to the House of Commons that said that couples who are not legally married are not entitled or have any right to the other's property if their relationship takes a turn for the worse.
    • It was also quoted in the note that the courts do not have the power to override the legal ownership of the property and cannot divide it if the relationship breaks down, another thing was also stated that if an individual dies the other individual in the Live- in relationship do not automatically have the rights on his property and inheritance.
    • So it can be said that in the United Kingdom, Live-in relationships are not recognized as fully as a marriage.
  6. Australia
    • According to the family law act of Australia, it says that a "de facto relationship" can exist between two individuals whether they are of the opposite sex or the same sex.
    • It also says that a person can be in a de facto relationship even if the individual is legally married to someone else or the other is legally married to someone else.

The descriptive research method is used to collect information and data for this paper. The study of this paper is based on mainly secondary sources; The data have been collected from various articles, research papers, journals, reports, and newspapers.

Legality Of Live-In Relationship In India

In India, the topic of Live-in relationships has been taboo for a very long time. But as time went on and the ideology changed Live-in relationships are becoming a regular part of society in many big cities across India.

It can be seen that the Live-in relationship not being looked down upon in the urban part of India but it cannot be usually seen in the rural part of India as in the rural part the ideology of people there is very conservative in nature and is based on culture and tradition, because of tradition most of the people in the rural part of India refuses to accept the concept of Live-in relationship.

It can also be seen as Indian places marriage as a sacred ceremony and is of great importance in the cultural field, many people believe that a Live-in relationship is a western thing that should not be compared to the sacred marriage in Indian culture.

The rights of female members in a Live-in relationship are guarded by the Protection of women and domestic violence act of 2005.

The national commission of women recommended to the Ministry of women and child development on 30th June 2008 that they should also add female Live-in partners in the definition of a wife according to section 125 of Cr.Pc. The main aim of this recommendation was to protect the women's Live-in partners in the terms of bodily and financial safety and to make the female Live-in partner almost the same right as a legally married woman.

After all of this, the supreme court established a committee to deal with this matter which was called the Justice Malimath committee which made an announcement or observation that says if a man and woman are living together like a legally married couple for a long period of time the man shall be deemed to have married the woman.

According to a case of the supreme court case which was Abhijit Bhikaseth Auti Vs the State of Maharashtra and others3 which established that even when a woman is not married to a man but is living together like a married couple she can ask for maintenance. According to Allahabad high court "a lady of age 21 years of being a major, have the right to live with a man even if they are not married, if they wish to "

So a woman can claim maintenance and alimony even if the two people are not married to each other but are living together with each other for a reasonable amount of time ( The reasonable amount of time is different in every situation) and women have all the legal rights of a married woman too.

But it can also be seen that there is no exact definition of a Live-in relationship in the Indian legal system and the legal system is silent on many things in regard to the rights of men in a legal Live-in relationship.

What Is The Difference Between A Marriage And A Live-In Relationship?

There are some differences between a marriage and a Live-in relationship which can be seen below.

The system of marriage is legally and socially accepted into our society and is also usually a celebration of a new family coming together. It is generally an idea of two families getting together and becoming a larger family, There are also many marriage laws to settle disputes between the married couple like the Cr.Pc 125 which gives the right to maintenance and alimony for women.

But Live-in relationship is a social taboo in the country still, Live-in relationship is a regular thing nowadays in urban cities and hubs and is accepted there but in rural India where more than half of the population lives still considers Live-in relationship as a taboo and criticize anyone who is in one, But even after this there are some legal rights of a female in Live-in relationship such as the right to maintenance and alimony the same as a legally married woman in section 125 of Cr.Pc

Positives And Negatives Of A Live-In Relationship

There are many advantages and disadvantages of a live-in relationship which are socially researched many a time, some of them are shown below.

There are many advantages of a live-in relationship which are, that nowadays many people of the younger generation choose to get in a Live-in relationship as they can figure out the personality traits and how a person is before committing towards a person wholeheartedly, it can be also seen that there are not many legal obligations of either one of them in the short term period so it is also easier to walk out of a relationship which is not marriage and it does not bound someone in one place.

Many people view a live-in relationship as a freedom of their rights as they can choose to live with the partner of their own choosing and not be committed to them to check whether they can live with them or they cannot be with them.

But leaving aside the matter of freedom and no commitment there are many disadvantages of a live-in relationship which can be, It is seen that a Live-in relationship increases the chances of young age pregnancies and as they are not legally bounded in a short time the individual can just get up and leave anytime when he wants not wanting to face the responsibility of a child or just not feeling like to be bounded, it can be also seen that in a Live-in relationship, there is no sense of responsibility.

Many times, in a live-in relationship it was seen that both the individuals are not of mature mind and because of this they somehow harm each other, it is also one of the main factors of increase in drug abuse as one is not able to cope up with the new lifestyle and new sense of responsibility to the other person.

There are both positive and negative aspects of a Live-in relationship and it wholly depends on the eye of the beholder what he wants to see and is subject to it.

Children Born Of Live-In Relationships

The Hindu marriage act of 1955, section 164 talks about the inheritance rights of children born of legally married couples or Live-in relationships.

It gives the right to inherit the ancestral property to the children born out of either and such makes the child legitimate.

It can also be seen as the supreme court removing the provision of illegitimate children wholly every child born of a marriage, live-in relationship or wedlock will be considered a legitimate progeny and will have the right to inherit the ancestral property.

So, it can be concluded that Live-in relationships are a matter of debate and fight for a long period of time and many countries have made live-in relationships valid and almost the same as a marriage.

It can also be seen that in India also the live-in relationship situation is still not fully clear but it is legal in India to be in a live-in relationship and the female partner is protected and has the same rights as a legally married woman under section 125 of Cr.Pc and enjoys the right to get maintenance and alimony only when there was a long period of living together involved.

The people in urban India have accepted live-in relationships and are usually getting into one but the same cannot be said for rural India where still the live-in relationship is considered taboo and not accepted into their lives as they focus on tradition and culture, they also have a very conservative mind and are not adapt to changes.

There are many positives and negatives of live-in relationships which are totally based on the eye of the beholder and can be seen from both a negative point of view and a positive point of view.

The right of the children born due to a live-in relationship will be treated the same as a legally married couple's children and will have the full right to get the ancestral property and will be entitled to the inheritance which is explained under section 16 of the Hindu Marriage act of 1955.

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  1. Order for maintenance of wives, children and parents.
  2. Contract of civil partnership
  3. Crl. W.P. No. 2218/2007 MANU/MH 1432/2008
  4. Legitimacy Of Children Of Void And Voidable Marriages.
Written By:
  • Akshat Parashar
  • Atharv

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