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Live-in Relationship in India

Live-in Relationship in India


Live-in Relationship in India


In this blog, we look at the concept of relationship living in India.

A man is considered to have married a woman if they have been living together as husband and wife for a reasonable period of time (The Justice Malimath Committee of the Indian Supreme Court).

The aforementioned sentence sums up a living-in relationship.

Is live in relationship legal in india?

Live in relationship india

Living together as a man and a woman without marriage is not illegal, according to the Supreme Court. “What is the crime when two people want to live together? Is it a crime?” A special three-judge Bench comprising the Chief Justice of India, K.G. Balakrishnan, and Justices Deepak Verma and B.S. Chauhan observed, “Living together is a right to live,” the Supreme Court declared, apparently referring to Article 21 of the Indian Constitution, which guarantees the right to life and personal liberty as a fundamental right. The Supreme Court made the remark while reserving its decision on a Special Leave Petition filed by a well-known South Indian actress, Khushboo, seeking to have 22 criminal cases filed against her dismissed.

Meaning of a live-in relationship

Quotes Love Story

A live-in relationship, also known as cohabitation, is an arrangement in which two people decide to live together for an extended period of time or permanently in an emotionally and/or sexually intimate relationship. The term is most commonly applied to unmarried couples.


Live in relationship meaning in Hindi

Live in Relationship = स्वैच्छिक सहवास [pronunciation.{svaichchhik sahavas} ]

Live in Relationship Law in india

Live in Relationship Law in india

Cohabitation has been illegal in India since British rule. This is no longer the case in major cities, but it is still common in rural areas with more conservative values.

On June 30, 2008, the National Commission for Women recommended to the Ministry of Women and Child Development that the definition of “wife” in section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code be expanded to include women who live with their partners. The recommendation’s goal was to harmonize the legal provisions dealing with the protection of women from domestic violence as well as to equalize the relationship of a live-in couple with that of a legally married couple. For this purpose, the Supreme Court established the Justice Malimath Committee, which stated that “if a man and a woman live together as husband and wife for a reasonable long period of time, the man shall be deemed to have married the woman.”

The Malimath Committee also proposed broadening the definition of “wife” in the Criminal Procedure Code to include “a woman living with the man as if she were his wife,” implying that even a woman in a live-in relationship with a man could be entitled to alimony. On September 16, 2009, the Supreme Court ruled in a case that a woman does not have to prove her marriage in order to claim maintenance under section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code. A woman in a live-in relationship may also seek maintenance under Criminal Procedure Code Section 125.


A couple in a relationship is more accepted in Western countries. This can be seen in their civil and union agreements, legal recognition, and prenuptial agreements between couples. However, this is not the case in India. Most western Apex Courts ruled that if a man and a woman have been in a long-term live-in relationship and even have children, the same marital laws that apply to a husband and wife apply to them.

The Supreme Court of India even stated that a woman and a man living together is a choice that falls under the right to life. As a result, no criminal offence exists. So, in India, live-in relationships are legal.

A child born from a live-in relationship’s legal status

On another occasion, the Supreme Court ruled in a case involving the legitimacy of a child born out of wedlock that if a man and a woman are in a long-term live-in relationship, they will be treated as a married couple and their child will be legitimate.

Children born from such a relationship will no longer be labelled as illegitimate, according to a Supreme Court bench led by Justice Arijit Pasayat. “Law favors legitimacy and condemns whoredom or the fruit of adultery.”

Inheritance rights

A child born from a live-in relationship cannot inherit Hindu ancestral coparcenary property (in the case of an undivided joint Hindu family) and can only claim a share of the parents’ self-acquired property, according to the Supreme Court.

The Bench overturned a Madras High Court decision that held that children born from live-in relationships were entitled to a share of ancestral property because there was a presumption of marriage based on the length of the relationship.


When a couple lives together, a live-in relationship certificate is created that describes their liberty and responsibility both during and after the relationship. This specific point is stated in the agreement:

  1. What happens to the property and other valuables if the relationship ends?
  2. How do they divide their living and daily expenses?
  3. They are each held accountable for the other.
  4. How do they divide (personal items, assets, and other items) if the relationship fails?
  5. A live-in relationship agreement is terminated when both parties agree to do so.

In agreement, many other things are also included that are decided by the couple. The agreement is valid when both agree to follow the conditions listed on the agreement and sign it.


Your live-in relationship agreement can be created both online and offline. The online mode is simpler, faster, and more time-efficient than the offline mode. Follow these steps to create an online live in a relationship agreement:

e registry website for live in relationship certificate

  1. Go to the E-registry website and select the option for “Live-In Relationship Agreement” from the left sidebar.
  2. Sign in with your name, phone number, and email address.
  3. On the screen, a form will now appear; fill in all relevant information in the appropriate field and click the Save button.
  4. A preview of your agreement appears on the screen; check that all the details are correct and click the Next button.
  5. Pay a very small fee now using the online payment method.
  6. Following successful payment, you will be able to download your entire live-in relationship agreement from your profile section.

The downloaded document will be valid after it has been signed by both people and two witnesses. Make a live-in relationship agreement by clicking on this button.



Marriage is a ritually and socially accepted institution in India. It is essentially a contract between the partners that imposes rights, duties, and legal obligations on each other. Because of India’s diverse culture, various laws have been enacted that establish the guidelines and procedures for performing marriages in various religions. Every marriage is not perfect. Marriage laws have been created in various religions to deal with the disputes that arise in marriages between partners.

Along with the laws pertaining to maintenance under personal law, Section 125 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973, protects the wife with maintenance if she is unable to support herself.

There are also provisions in the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act of 2005, Section 20(1), for women seeking additional maintenance in addition to the maintenance received under other laws (d).

Indian law on live-in relationship

A live-in relationship is legal, according to the Supreme Court, if the following conditions are met:

  1. In this relationship, both girls and boys live as husband and wife.
  2. Both are of legal marriageable age.
  3. They are both unmarried.
  4. They both live together, of their own volition.

When the couple has met all of these requirements, the live-in relationship is legal.


The Supreme Court ruled that live-in relationships were now legally recognized by the legislature and had a place under the provisions of the 2005 Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.

The Supreme Court ruled that an adult couple has the right to live together without marrying, and that a 20-year-old Kerala woman whose marriage had been annulled had the right to choose who she wanted to live with.

In India, there are no laws governing live-in relationships, but they are not illegal. A live-in relationship between consenting adults is legal under Indian law if the requirements of marriage, such as the legal age of marriage, consent, and soundness of mind, are met. Law does not permit or prohibit such relationships.


Relationship dynamics

Marriage is an alliance between families, whereas a live-in relationship is primarily between the two partners. That can be a good or a bad thing, depending on your outlook on life and what you want from your relationship. If the idea of playing the daughter or son-in-law makes you cringe, a live-in relationship might be for you. However, if you have a traditional outlook on relationships, marriage may make you feel more secure.

Children in marriage versus live-in relationship

If having children is a goal in your life, this becomes an important factor to consider when deciding between marriage and a live-in relationship. Cohabiting partners have legal influence over their children’s lives.

Bringing a child into a live-in relationship can be a complicated affair if things between you and your partner go wrong. A child’s rights, on the other hand, are fully protected in a marriage. However, if a marriage fails, custody battles are frequently a source of contention in divorce proceedings.

Commitment is a key difference between marriage and a live-in relationship

According to research, married couples are more likely to report overall satisfaction and a higher level of commitment than live-in couples.

According to research, cohabitation is not always a well-thought-out decision. It could start with leaving a toothbrush at each other’s place and progress to spending the majority of your days there. You realize one day that you want to live with them, but no conversations about commitment, the future, or life goals have taken place. As a result, a live-in relationship suffers from commitment issues from the start.

When it comes to the all-important marriage or live-in relationship decision, societal and legal perceptions are critical factors to consider.

Better health is an important consideration when deciding whether to marry or live with someone.

According to Psychology Today, research shows that marriage can promote better mental and physical health among partners than staying single or being in live-in relationships.

Married couples also have a lower incidence of chronic diseases and a higher recovery rate, which is likely due to greater social acceptance and emotional stability in the traditionally accepted institution of marriage. It’s difficult to pinpoint the reasons for this, but the statistics don’t lie.

Marriage versus live-in relationship—facts to consider

Relationships come in all shapes and sizes nowadays, and there is no rulebook to determine which is superior. That decision is frequently influenced by your personal preferences and circumstances. That being said, the decision between marriage and a live-in relationship is one that you will have to live with for a long time, and as such, it should not be taken lightly. Here are some facts to base your choice on:

Facts about marriage

Despite the growing popularity of cohabitation among couples, marriage continues to have a large number of supporters. Some couples decide to marry after living together for a while. Others see it as a logical step toward a romantic relationship. Is it worthwhile to get married? Is there anything to gain? Here are some facts to consider if you’re thinking about marriage for practical reasons or to put an end to your relationship:

Solemnising a marriage is a more elaborate affair

Marriage is a more formal arrangement that is governed by state laws. For example, there is a legal minimum age for marriage. Similarly, in order for a marriage to be legally recognized, it must be solemnized in accordance with state-approved religious rituals or in a court of law. Following that, a couple must apply for marriage registration and obtain a certificate from a competent authority.

Marriage dissolution is a legal procedure

Marriage dissolution involves annulment or divorce, both of which can be lengthy, complicated, and costly legal procedures. Though ending a live-in relationship has its own set of challenges and grief, going through a divorce is, at least on paper, a more complicated process.

There is a division of assets in a divorce

A divorce proceeding involves the division of assets owned jointly by the spouses. The division of assets can be done in accordance with the divorce settlements or statements. Because everything is governed by laws that are handled in a court of law, there isn’t much room for confusion or disagreement.

A financially stable spouse will have to support the other

Even after separation, the financially stable spouse is responsible for providing maintenance to the estranged partner. This can be done through alimony, monthly maintenance, or both, depending on the court’s decision.

Legal right to make decisions on spouse’s behalf

If one of the partners becomes seriously ill, the other partner has the legal authority to make critical healthcare, financial, and even end-of-life decisions. Perhaps these legalities are a few of the advantages of getting married over living together, because married couples automatically have the power to make such decisions.

Right to inherit property

Unless otherwise specified in a legally executed will, a widow or widower automatically inherits their deceased spouse’s assets.

Legitimacy of offspring

A child born to a married couple is the legal heir to all of their assets, and the parents bear the financial responsibility for the child.

After the divorce

Even if the parents’ divorce or separate, the non-custodial parent has a legal obligation to financially support and co-parent the children born of the marriage.


The distinction between marriage and a live-in relationship is found in the former’s social and legal acceptance. As society evolves, these dynamics may shift. Marriage is currently the most secure form of commitment for a long-term relationship.

However, marriage can have its drawbacks, especially if you marry the wrong person. So, is living together before marriage a good idea? When it comes to relationship decisions, understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, when making your decision, you should consider these pros and cons.

Live-in relationships are becoming increasingly popular in India. The law does not tell us how we should live; it is ethics and social norms that explain what it means to live in the welfare model. The Court recognizes that what the law considers to be no crime may still be immoral. It was stated in a 2006 judgment, which the Court has now noted, that two consenting adults engaging in sex is not an offence in law “even though it may be perceived as immoral.”

Of course, such protective sanctions have the potential to cause complications that could otherwise be avoided. However, simply raising the hammer may not be the best way to subdue the bold and brave. Awareness must be created in these young minds not only of the emotional and societal pressures that such a relationship may create but also of the fact that it may give rise to various legal hassles on issues such as property division, violence, cases of desertion by the death of a partner, and the handling of custody and other issues when it comes to children resulting from such relationships.

While the Supreme Court’s decision may not have the unintended consequence of increasing the number of couples preferring live-in relationships over marriage, it may inspire more young men and women who are now convinced that there is no violation of the law in a live-in relationship. One can only weigh the pros and cons and consider how their decision will affect their family and, most importantly, themselves.