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Live-in Relationship: Legal Perspective and Problems

Law and society have been working hand in hand for the betterment of the individual. Law has been playing the vital role in the changing the society through its rules and regulations. In Asian countries the concept of wedding has been given the at most importance and has been about the religious ritual. Marriage has been protected by keeping the foundation of marriage strong. As in some areas change is prevailing so the law also has to change keeping in view the societal and constitutional values.

Marriage is a social union or a legal contract between people that creates kinship. The concept of live-in relationship it isn�t new to the society but the problem with the people is they are hesitating to reveal or to speak frankly about their status or live-in relationship to the society. But talking about the western culture this concept is not new for them.

The thinking of the society heads in a direction that whether welcoming the concept of live-in relationship will directly or indirectly invite the pre-marital sexual relationships? in fact they will consider as a sin. The benefits in a legal that are arising out of marriage tends to encourage the couple to enter into formal commitments to assume family responsibilities.

Live-in relationship is a very sensitive issue. It has its pros and cons for example education barriers, radical changes in thinking of women etc. Sometimes it might happen that the issue or the relationship isn�t taken seriously by one of the partners then the issue arising out of it becomes difficult to handle and then the directly or indirectly parents has to suffer.

Conceptual Understanding of term Live-in Relationship

Meaning & Definition
Live-in Relationship is a type of course or arrangement between the 2 people who decide to live together permently and support them emotionally and physically. In short Live-in Relationship is connected to the couples who are connected, but not hitched. The legitimate definition of Live-in Relationship is �a course of action of living together beneath one roof where the couples is single to conduct a lone-going relationship additionally as in marriage.

While passing the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 the Parliament has taken notice of this new relationship, that is, live-in relationship�. It is a threat to an institution of marriage. Live-in relationship is said to be the mockery in the institution of marriage. The question in the mind of the society is that whether the girl and a boy having one-night stand, living together for a day, a week or a month, what stands or amounts to live-in relationship?

The Privy Committee in A. Dinohamy v. W.L Blahamy, laid down the guideline that:
Where a man and a lady are demonstrated to have lived together as a man and a spouse, the law will assume, unless the opposite be clearly demonstrated, that they were living together in result of a substantial marriage and not in state of concubiage.1 It is said that India has not developed that they involve themselves in this concept, they would face criticism everywhere.

It is clear that the people who are scared of the marriages because of whatsoever reason, they tend to accept the live-in relationship, it gives rise to various social, economic and legal issues.

Reasons and Growth of Live-in Relationship

The first and foremost advantage of live-in relationship in comparison to marriage is that it is wholly secular. Marriage has been secular over the time, marriage is the identity that is legal and social institution that is inseparable. The difference between the marriage and live-in relationship is very complex it�s like the spider web, web of social norms and legal regulations.

Another important component that leads to the advantage to the marriage is that the rights and obligations that leads to the marriage, laws related or made for the marriage purpose and the financial position to the independent family members. Marriage may be a scarred foundation between a individual and a woman and pledged to undertake and do no matter was legitimately essential to guard the scaredness of the wedding.

For years traditional Indian society did not accept the term live-in relationship as it the cohabitation of men and women without entering into any formal agreement or say it is against the law. Besides now a days woman being financially independent, so the status and the clarity developed among the woman in terms of live-in relationship.

In Malti v. State of U.P. the Allahabad High Court held that a woman living with a man could not be equated as his �wife�. In this case, the woman was a cook in the man�s house and she stayed with him and shared an intimate relationship. The Court, however refused to extend the meaning of the word �wife� as denoted in Section 125 of Cr.P.c to include such a live-in partner�s maintenance claims.

Intercaste marriages, failure of marriages, higher studies, global world has been the growing reason for live-in relationship. The conventional Indian society has been disliked the concept of live-in relationship for such known reason which I have mentioned above. Other than, on the off chance that a lady was fiscally subordinate on man, the flimsiness of such relationship made a subservient status for a lady. According to the law, man having a living spouse is a complete nullity in the eye of law and she is not entitled to the benefit of Sec125 of the Code. The law will not give any recognition to that they lived together even if their marriage was void.

However, the courts did not recognize live-in relationship as independent of the institution of marriage, that is the presumption of marriage was a key element. Presently indeed nation like bounded by endless social morals and ceremonies, the law finds legitimately nothing off-base in live-in relations. It can�t be said that law advances such connections.

The essential arrange of living together or conducting a live-in relationship is that the interested couples got to check their compatibility for each diverse sometime recently going for a number of commitments; the other reasons are a few budgetary concerns or homosexuality.

Structure and Evolution
There have been lots of confusion because the term of live-in relationship does vary from person to person. There have been cases or issues where a man and a woman live for a week, month or a year and after their separation can woman ask for maintenance? then the court should say that walk in and walk out does not amount to type of live-in relationship.

Live-in relationship that is describes in Webster dictionary is:
�A living arrangement in which unmarried couples live together in a long-term relationship is resembles as marriage� Here couples become weak when any one of them exits this relationship because both of them are emotionally, financially and physically connected. As marriage has a risk of divorce in the same way live-in has risk of separation. Live-in is referred to the couple who is living under one roof without legally married.

Nowadays even though live-in has emerged slowly in India but there are people who also count these as a taboo because for them it the dilution of morals and ethics. But nowadays talking about marriage the present position of marriage is not that much in good condition the rates or the percentage of divorce is increasing and the reason for divorce is even worse.

Now in the 20th century there are certain changes which the society has experienced, in each and every field we see the change and the change are far more high expectations as compared to Indian Sociologist and Anthropologists.

The newly concept of live-in relationship emerged from the field of entertainment, movie, media, modelling, but talking about the middle and lower class of the people majority of that class haven�t accepted this concept completely nor they adopt this type of culture.

Today or Tomorrow live-in relationship will be accepted by the people of India and live-in relationship will co-exist with legal marriage.

Now if we see that India is accepting the culture, ideas, lifestyle of Western states slowly and gradually for example the concept of live-in relation. The marriage in our Hindu term and also in the law has given the immense position and respect, keeping in mind that some of the citizens of India has accepted the concept of live-in. According to Manu, premarital relationship exists in Vedic period and after that but just it was a rare occurrence.

The concept of live-in do existed long time ago, it was called maitri karar in that it was the contract between the two sex that they will live together as a friend and will look after each other. But even though most of the people has started accepting the concept of live-in relationship but a strict legislation or law to be amended for this for the rights and obligations of the partners and no one would be exploited.

Some of the people thinks that why do couples choose to be in live-in which is not even legally valid rather than being legally wedded couple would be more peaceful, but there are certain reasons because of which they decide to be in live-in: - Lifestyle, Economic Independence, Urbanizations, Social hurdles.

In Maharashtra, the question was raised of live-in and the couple accepting the trend of live-in and reasons to it. Marriage or live-in relationship is a concern for the individuals and role of society is to be least democratic set up in India where we guarantee certain freedoms to individuals and freedom to choose their partner.

Impact of live-in Relationship in India

In India now gradually door are opening for western culture and ideas and especially the concept of live-in. We can see that the people slowly accepting the trend or the concept of live-in, but an era or two it was the situation that live-in is meant very bad by the people of India, but now it has started to change and the couples has started to adopt the trend. Some people are but on the other hand some of them find it difficult because they are assaulted by their own family members and the society.

In few places or circumstances, unmarried partners can share an approach and get certain legal protection; while in other circumstances they are considered as legal strangers with no rights. The plus point of the live-in is that before they come to an decision to make an life time commitment, they live together check whether they are compatible with each other or they can handle every situation together and on the basis of the time spent together they come to the decisions. However, some couples too might live-in together if they choose not to induce hitched or they figure out that in due course they cannot wed each other.

The benefits of the marriage come with lot of responsibilities. The obligations towards each other, towards family, children and towards the marital house. The alternative or the temporary way to avoid this tradition is to enjoy the cohabiting together, the concept of live-in. Somewhat the concept of live-in is not new into the society, the only thing was that earlier people were hesitating in declaring their result due to fear of the society. India is still a preservationist society.

Pros and Cons of Live-in Relationship

If you are arranging to move in together with your accomplice any time before long, at that point here are some masters and cons you will need to consider.

  • Marriage could be the choice of both of them and for marriage commitment is needed from both the sides. But talking about live-in relationship break up tend to be less.
  • In live-in we get sufficient time to know each other before getting hitched or heading for breakup before without any advance expectations
  • Rise in terms of security and flexibility. In live-in the doors are open and no legal process to be done and so no commitment issues.

  • This concept is still unthinkable, particularly by the elder people.
  • Ladies suffer the most, society and people puts a character question on the girls first, it�s the rule of the society
  • Sometimes couples discover it troublesome to bear the duties that a marriage brings together.

Law and Live-in Relationship

Live-in Relationship � Changing texture of Indian Society

Society has invited the change and on the other hand we have forced fully adjusted in our society. Number of couples live together without certificate of marriage, but nowadays the couple or the people of the society have fully accepted the concept without caring the world around them. Even now this concept of live-in have introduced in the cinema halls for example the movie like Salaam Namaste, Luka Chuppi, Shudh Desi Romance such movies have shown the concept of live-in relationship which exposed this kind of living in the society.

There are certain advantages of live-in relationship, now the scenario of couples is that if they are not able to adjust or because of small fight or argument with the family they decide to divorce. The rate or the percentage of divorce in India is increasing day by day and the reasons behind it are very petty.

Looking the present situation and the cases of divorce it is better to enter into live-in by which they can understand each other very well, they will come to know the expense of each other and the strength to handle the hard times, after certain period of being in live-in then the couple can come to a conclusion that now we should get legally married or not.

The latter Supreme Court explained that live-in is not an offence, has made the validity of such couple a little better. Metropolitan cities and the taught course of our country has grasped this alter but such relationship have continuously come beneath the examination of an ethical brigade which clears out stone unturned to form them feel unwanted and unaccepted.

But the talks continued about the legalization of live-in relationship in our nation have brought many hostile to bunches, extremely dissenting against such a stand. Years ago when South Indian actress Khushboo commented in favor of pre-conjugal sex there were 22 cases registered against her. But presently they are getting to be more magnanimous, this outsider culture in India has begun mushrooming across the length and breadth of the urban areas.

With this subject is the hot topic of the media, they are attempting to decode whether such relationship are great or awful, what l feel is that this relationship ought not to be seen in defamatory way but the couple ought to be develop and sensible sufficient to decide what level they would need to reach some tome recently they actually end up wedding.

May be, that�s why compositions of romance are stamped in such a classic society, slightest being something like live-in relationship in India. Be that as it may, the younger age bracket wishes to come out from the cover of tradition. Affected from huge screen motion picture to little screen daily cleaners the youthful era is venturing for liberal wonder it hampers the moral and conventional shafts of Indian society. Live-in may be exceptionally choice of a male and female, no enactments are there to act as an intruder in this personal affair.

Indian Legal Perspective for Live-in Relationship

The concept of live-in hasn�t issued or any of the said topic related law and amendments hasn�t issued by the authority, but in certain parts of Gujarat this concept has been recognized in way 1993. The Supreme Court in the Malimath Committee, which in its report submitted in 2003 watched that:
�if a man and a lady living together as husband and wife for a sensible long period, the man might be considered to have hitched woman. The Malimath report had suggested that the word spouse beneath Cr.P.C be revised to include a lady living with the man like his wife so that indeed a lady having live-in relationship with a man would too be entitled to alimony.

Talking about the security of ladies from the Domestic Viciousness Act, 2005 may be a enactment enacted for the reason of assurance of ladies from domestic violence and incorporate live-in connection within ambit of residential relationship as characterized in Area 2(f) which peruses as follows. �Household relationship means relationship between two people who live or have, at any point of time, live together in a shared or household, when they are related by relationship, marriage or through a relationship within nature of marriage.

In Tulsi & Ors v. Durghatiya & Ors, the SC watched that a man and a lady who is involved in a live-in relationship for a longer time would be consider as married couple and their child would be legitimate.

The Indian viewpoint in Khusboo v. Kanniamal and anr., the SC opined that a man and woman living together with-it marriage cannot be constructed as an offence. The SC said that there was no law disallowing live-in or premarital sex. �Living together may be a right to live� the SC said, clearly alluding to Article 21 of the Structure of India which ensures right to life and individual liberty as a essential right.

The SC within the case of Bharatha Marha & nr. V. R. Vijayrenganathan & Ors. Held that a child born out of a live-in isn�t entitled to claim legacy in Hindu ancestral coparcenary and can only claim a share within the parent�s self � acquired property.

As there is no any perfect definition of live-in in the same way there is no particular law made for it. To correctly support such relationship is by certain acts and also by the facts of cases. Though the common man is still reluctant in tolerating this kind of relationship, the Assurance of ladies from domestic violence act gives for the assurance and support in this manner allowing the proper of provision to a wronged live-in relationship.

Issues and Challenges in Live-in Relationship

Problems arising for unmarried couple
There are a lot legal and practical rules that affect the unmarried couple like form sharing money, property, house, having child with our parents to writing a will. When we understand the law of an particular thing or an relationship they we can act accordingly to the said rules and laws.

The SC has granted the legal status of live-in relationship but what if the one of the partner leaves? the other partner is set to be homeless? if the child is born out of that relationship what status will that child get? Will it empower Women with the right it inheritance, maintenance, alimony? Will the law give same status to live-in like marriage? These all the answers are left unanswered and if the law related to this topic will be amended the answer of all these questions will be given.

Replacement of marriage: Live-in relationship

Should there is need of all of us to accept the western trend that has entered India? Is it open to all individuals who want to register their intimate relationship? In this world marriage would continue to be religious or institution of course, but no legal status. Live-in relationship has been taken as an alternative to marriage especially in the metropolitan city. Currently the law is unaware about the legality of this relationship hence certain rights have been granted by which any of the partner won�t be abused or harassed.

The concept if live-in provides the freedom and liberty it offers to the partners and most importantly, the fact is now in urban areas the couple is choosing live-in rather than the marriage, it is evidently that this trend has taken a U-turn and, in few years, it will be an common trend and it would be accepted by the nation.

However, law does have a concept of �presumption of marriage� that would take place a live-in relationship. If the presumption that a man and a lady live under the same roof and cohabit for some years, then that years or the that long period would change into presumption of marriage and against concubinage according to Section 50 and 114 of Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Marriage promotes adjustment while live-in emphasis on individual freedom.

Indian Society is changing and that changed is evident by enacting The Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005. Therefore, the overall development is necessary to maintain the balance.

�Law takes its own time to articulate such social changes through a process of amendment. That is why in a changing society law cannot afford to remain static. If one looks at the history of development of Hindu Law, it will be clear that it was never static and has changed from time to time to meet the challenges of the changing social pattern in different time.�

Hon'ble Justice A.K.Ganguly & G.S. Singhvi. Marriage is necessarily the basis of social foundation from which important legal rights and obligations emerge. In ancient times, marriage was considered to be decided by the God and divinity was associated with it. Hindu marriage protects a woman by guaranteeing her legal rights for restitution of conjugal rights in case of desertion, legitimacy of the children, relief in case of cruelty, adultery, impotency, claim of maintenance and alimony etc. The culture of India refers to the religions, beliefs, customs, traditions, languages, ceremonies, arts, values and the way of life in India and its people.

The society is changing a lot in terms of acceptance of the many roles of women as professionals, as bread-earners in families and as independent thinking individuals. Women have proved themselves as equals in many professions as well as proved themselves even better suited than men in others. The situation for the changing role of women is improving fast. The traditional role of a man has been the one of earning the money for the running of the home.

This has changed to a great extent. Live-in relationship does provide a remedy for a carefree life free from the hassles of responsibility and commitment which is the very prerequisite of the institution of marriage. The focus is on the changing attitude of the society in accepting the extra-marital relation. However, it is a genus giving rise to many sociolegal issues.

Society is formed with traditions and customs which are foundational pillar. India, a country of cultural values cannot afford to fall into western ways. But since growing economy and people getting more and more aware, India finally has to step ahead and walk with the rest of the world by legalizing live-in-relationship. The argument for replacing marriage with live-in relationship should have considerable appeal to those who recognize the social benefits of marriage but are troubled by the out-dated values and historic traditions that continue to define this legal institution. The laws are not very clear on live-in relationship at the global level; the countries are hesitant to recognize it.

India does not recognize such relationships. A legislation be enacted which clearly stated the rights and obligations of live-in partners. Some countries are granting greater legality to such couples as per the provision of their statutes. In India the case is somewhat different. The legal progress of the laws, the respect to it and unprecedented increase in the number of such relationships are running unparallel to each other. The law needs to be speeded up to enact laws and implement them.

The need of the present hour is not to try bringing live-in relationships under the ambit of any existing law, but to enact a new different law which would look into the matter of live-in separately and would grant rights and obligations on the part of the couples thereby reducing the cases of misuse of existing laws and also to reduce cases of atrocities faced by the female partners under such relationships. Whether you like it or not phenomenon of live-in relationship is digging deep into the social fabric of India, as if it is posing a bold challenge to the institution of marriage. The law in every country has to keep pace with the changing times.

Sociologists have observed that informal unions are less stable than marriage, in part, because living together is "under-institutionalized. The same might be true of live-in couples. Partners entering live-in relationship will know that it is not legal marriage. Perhaps, in live-in relationship, only religious marriages will be seen as grounded in commitment. If live-in relationships are not undertaken with the same seriousness of purpose that characterizes marriage, and if they are not regulated by commitment norms, they are likely to be fewer stable unions than even modern marriages.

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