“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 live-in relationship is an arrangement where a heterosexual couple decides to live together, without entering into a formal relationship called marriage. It is commonly known as “Cohabitation.”[1] It is not recognized by the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or by any other statutory laws. The Supreme court of India recognized the live-in relationship as a legal relationship and is not considered a prohibited relationship.

In the case of Indra Sarma v. V.K.V. Sarma[2] held that “Live in marriage-like relationship is neither a crime nor a sin though socially unacceptable in this country.” The Protection of Women and Domestic Violence Act, 2005 is the first legal act that recognized the “live-in relationship.” It also provides protection and maintenance and thereby grants the right to alimony to live-in partner.

These are the following requirements needed to fulfil the criteria of live-in relationship:[3]

  • Legal age to marry
  •  Qualify to enter legal age
  • Must be unmarried
  • Voluntary cohabitation should be for a considerable period
  • Shared household
  • Pooling of resources and financial arrangements between parties
  • Domestic arrangements
  • Children
  • Socialization of relations in public.

In the case of Badri Prasad V. Dy. Director of Consolidation[4], the court upheld the legal validity to 50 years of live-in relationship.

For a child born out of the live-in relationship, there are four rights available. They are-[5]

  • Legitimacy
  • Custody
  • Maintenance
  • Property

In the case of Bharta Matha & Ors vs. R. Vijaya Renganathan &Ors[6], the Supreme court held that a child born out of live-in relation is entitled to inherit the property of parents. But the child does not claim the rights against Hindu Ancestral Coparcenary Property.

A man and women in a live-in relationship are not given any status of husband and wife and therefore, without any status of marriage, one cannot claim any rights such as property rights, maintenance rights, religious rights, conjugal rights, etc and hence, such rights are absent in live-in relationship. Therefore, various committees have recommended equal rights for women currently in a live-in relationship as of married women.[7]

To get maintenance, the essential four conditions are-[8]

  • The couple must hold themselves out to society as being akin to spouses.
  • They must be of legal age to marry.
  • They must be otherwise qualified to enter into a legal marriage.
  • They must be voluntarily cohabited and held themselves out to the world as being akin to spouses for a significant period.

In the case of D. Veluswami vs. D. Patchaimmal[9], it was stated that women in a live-in relationship are not entitled to maintenance unless she fulfils certain parameters, the Supreme Court also observed that merely spending weekends together or one night would not make it a domestic relationship.

The fashion of live-in has affected the youth of society for several reasons. It is being seen as a trend these days. No doubt, this has many positive effects including the right to liberty, privacy, and life but the cons have to be realized as well. The few points that the researcher would like to include are-[10]

  • Breaking down of marriage institution
  • In and out relationship
  • Anti-Hindu and live-in relationship
  • Negative identity
  • Weakens social relationship

[1] Oxford Dictionary, 3rd edition.

[2] [AIR 2006 SC 2522], 26 May 2020.

[3],31 May 2020.

[4] AIR 1978 SC 1557.

[5] 14 May. 2020

[6] (2010) 11 SCC 483.

[7] April 2, 2020.

[8] (March 12, 2020).

[9] (2010) 10 SCC 469.

[10] March 21, 2020.

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

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