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Live-In Relationships And Legal Implications In India

Live in Relationship Law

In India, cohabitation is becoming more and more common; this is a reflection of the changing cultural norms and views around marriage and relationships. Cohabitation offers a practical alternative to traditional marriage for couples who wish to avoid the legal ramifications of marriage, but the legal status of such unions under Indian law remains unclear.

A live-in relationship is often defined as cohabitation without marriage. Living together before to marriage was deemed illegal in India for a very long period. "Ekapatni Vrat," or "one man, one wife," was once considered one of the purest forms of matrimony by the Hindu Dharma; but, as time has passed, people have started to adjust and accept other refusing customs.

India rejects the idea of a live-in partnership as a recognized form of marriage, in contrast to a number of other countries. However, the Indian Supreme Court has decided that cohabiting without obtaining a marriage license is neither illegal nor criminal. Although they may not have the same legal rights as married couples, unmarried partners who live together are nonetheless protected by the law.

Rights under Live-in Relationships in India

Legal rights of a person in live in relationship
The concept of a live-in relationship is not defined anywhere in India. It refers to the proposal of two individuals living together with consent. It allows individuals to understand each other, which helps in making an informed decision about marriage. In addition to this, an individual must also know the rights of an individual under a live-in relationship in India.

Right to Maintenance
The provisions of Section 125(1)(a) of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, which address the right to maintenance, also apply to live-in relationships. The Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, Section 125(1)(a) addresses the right to maintenance, which is defined as providing financial support to a spouse, child, or parent.

Laws for children born out of Live-in Relationships
What are the Rights of a Child Born in a live-in Relationship in India
A child born into a live-in relationship does not have the same level of respect and dignity as a child born into a marriage, in terms of children's rights. A child born into a live-in relationship is also vulnerable to other types of discrimination regarding inheritance, legality, parental duty, and other matters because there is insufficient law in place.

Legitimacy: The norm of legitimacy is contingent upon matrimony. However, Section 16 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 grants legal status to children born out of lawful marriages.

Maintenance: Under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code, 1973, young children are entitled to support regardless of their legal status. Legally speaking, live-in partnerships and marriages are both acceptable, but treating the offspring of each differently may violate Article 14, which protects equality before the law.

Inheritance of Property: A man and woman who live together for an extended period of time are deemed to be married by the Supreme Court of India, and as such, they are entitled to all legal rights. According to Section 16 of the Hindu Marriage Act, children are permitted to use their parents' independently acquired property.

Furthermore, even if their parents' laws permit it, children are entitled to maintenance under Criminal Procedure Code Section 125(1)(a), and live-in partners are still obligated to provide for their children's needs even after they separate.

Children's Custody Rights: Child custody becomes an important factor to take into account when a live-in partnership ends. The lack of specific legislation governing the custody rights of children born from live-in partnerships means that the courts handle these matters in a manner akin to marriages. Prioritizing the minor's best interests above everything else, the court decides who receives custody.

But in India, cohabitation is not covered by any laws. The concept of live-in relationships received official legal recognition in 2010, which is relevant when discussing women's safety. It was argued that women who cohabitate should be protected under the domestic abuse statute.

Landmark Cases
In the 2010 case of S. Khushboo vs. Kanniammal, the Indian Supreme Court ruled that voluntary adult involvement in partnerships other than marriage is not illegal because no legal provision permits it. As such, there is no violation of the law. The court also cited Lata Singh v. State of U.P. & Another (2006), in which the court ruled that a major girl has the right to live with whoever she chooses and marry anyone she chooses. The Court additionally declared that the accused had not committed any crimes and that the current case constituted an abuse of the legal system's administrative procedures.

In conclusion, notwithstanding the official absence of legal recognition for live-in partnerships in India, Supreme Court decisions uphold their legitimacy. But there are still questions about rights, especially when it comes to kids. For these partnerships to be equitable and protected, laws pertaining to custody, inheritance, and partnership rights are essential.

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