Rights of Women in Live-in Relationship
Prarthana Kumari 24 Aug 2020

Rights of Women in Live-in Relationship


Living arrangements where an unmarried couple lives collectively underneath the same house within a long- term relationship that is similar to marriage is known as a LIVE-IN RELATIONSHIP. In this manner, it is a kind of arrangement where a man & woman live together without having getting married. This type of relationship has become an option to marriage in Metropolitan Cities.

Status of live-in-relationship in India

Status of live-in is not clear in India. There is no any particular law regarding the subject of live-in relationships. This type of relationship isn’t acknowledged by Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or other law. While the institution of marriage encourage adjustment, the basis of live-in is individual freedom. Thus, the protection of women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005 accommodates the protection & maintenance thereby providing the right of alimony to an aggrieved live- in partner. In spite of fact that, such a relationship isn’t bound by the legitimateness of marriage, the Indian courts have supported the rights, of woman along her children who is in a live-in relationship.

The Supreme Court has characterized five classifications of live in relationships which can be considered in the court:

  •          Domestic relationship between an adult male and an adult female, both unmarried
  •          Between a married man and an adult unmarried woman, entered knowingly
  •          Between an adult unmarried man and a married woman, entered knowingly
  •       Between an unmarried adult female and a married male, entered unknowingly and between same sex partners.

Women’s Rights in Live-in Relationship

1-Maintenance rights

In the year 2003, after the suggestions of the Malimath Committee, Section 125 was fused in the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) to adjust the meaning of 'wife' and extend it to include women who were in a live-in relationship. This guaranteed that her Financial Needs were taken care of by the partner if she was not able to maintain herself or if the relationship got alienated. Likewise, protection against all types of abuse is secured under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005 just like married women.

2- Right to Property

After the amendment in 2005, the women’s right to ancestral property is secured by the Hindu Succession Act, 1956. This provides her rights to ancestral and self-acquired property, like son, regardless of her marital status. So, whether woman is married or in live-in- relationship, the right to parental property will accrue to her by birth, while the property acquired by oneself will be divided according to the will.

3-Children’s Inheritance Rights

The Supreme Court (SC) of India had held that if a man and woman living together for a long period of time, would be considered as married and will enjoy all rights also the children born to live-in partners are treated as Legitimate. Such children have the right to self-acquired properties of their parents according to the Section 16 of the Hindu Marriage Act.

CrPC Section 125, provide rights to the children that they can always claim maintenance even if their personal laws doesn’t offer maintenance to them. In case the live-in partners are estranged, still they have obligation to maintain their children.

In Bharata Matha & Ors. Vs. R. Vijaya Renganathan & Ors. Case, the SC has also ruled that Child born out of a live-in-relationship may be permitted to inherit parent’s property, but does not have any right to claim against Hindu Ancestral Coparcenary Property.






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True Indian   25 Dec 2020 3:23pm
Good information. This will stop the unscrupulous males from taking undue advantage of women. Indian society is male dominated. They seldom think about women’s rights. In case of live-in relationship, both of them live as husband and wife. Hence, the man is duty bound to provide maintenance to his wife. If they have any children out of this relationship, then they have to provide for them also.
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