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Legality of Live in Relationships in India


Registration of a marriage is proof of marriage but it does not imply the existence of complete and lawful marriage between the parties. Thus, if solemnization of marriage between parties is not available, it will be presumed to be valid by cohabilitation between the parties.

Where a man and a woman live together as husband and wife for a long term, the law will presume that they were legally married unless proved contrary. Also, children born out of a live-in relationship may be allowed to succeed inheritance in the property of the parents, if any, but doesn’t have any claim as against Hindu ancestral property or under Hindu Undivided Family (HUF).

The Allahabad High Curt again recognized the concept of live in relationship in the case of Payal Katara vs. Superintendent, Nari Niketan and others, wherein it held that live in relationship is not illegal. The Court said that a man and a woman can live together as per their wish even without getting married. It further said that it may be immoral for the society but is not illegal.

The court made it clear that if the man has a live-in arrangement with a woman only for sexual reasons, neither partner can claim benefits of a legal marriage. In order to be eligible for alimony, a relationship must comply with certain conditions, the apex court said. The following conditions were laid down by the apex Court: Read More…