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Is Live-In Relationship Legal In India?

The debate around the morality of live-in relationships is ongoing, with proponents and opponents alike putting forward their arguments. Live-in relationships are prevalent in India, and many young couples and even unmarried couples deem it a practical route to marriage. However, several nuances associated with such arrangements must be considered before allowing or banning them altogether.

Live-in relationships have been a contentious issue in India for many years, constantly changing regulations and laws. With the recent rise of young couples who choose to live together as partners before getting married and become more socially accepted, it’s essential to know where you stand legally. In this article, we’ll explore the status of live-in relationships in India and what steps you can take if yours needs to be legally recognized.

Are Live-In Relationships Legal In India?

The legal status of live-in relationships in India is complicated, with various regional laws and regulations governing them. Under Indian personal law, live-in relationships are not considered marriage or an equivalent legal union. There is no specific law against living together as a couple without being married, but it does vary from state to state. However, some courts have ruled that couples living together do enjoy some protection under the country’s civil law system.

Rights In A Live-In Relationship

Couples living together have rights under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act 2005 which protects against domestic abuse for all women (and men) “regardless of their marital status”. This act guarantees a woman the right to private life with her partner and protection from mental and physical violence. It also gives her rights to property acquired during the relationship and makes “economic abuse” punishable by law.

Other than these basic protections provided by this act, same-sex couples may hold certain other civil rights according to existing laws on freedom of expression which guarantee an individual’s right over their own body, provided they satisfy particular other legal prerequisites like age requirements etc., applicable for such rights for all citizens regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.

What If You Want Your Relationship To Be Legally Recognized?

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Under Hindu Marriage Act 1955, any two adults that fulfil its conditions, such as consenting adulthood, can get married without divorce or dissolution of marriage even if one partner was previously married or divorced earlier but remarried someone else.

Hence, couples engaged out of free will within the framework mentioned above comprising Hindus who want their relationship legally recognized could either opt for a traditional ceremony etc., within Hindu Marriage Act 1955 & conceptually enter wedlock notwithstanding preceding concomitant challenges.

The Best Way To Prevent Unethical Behaviour Is By Education And Awareness

Others maintain that even if legal protection is extended to such couples, it might still promote untoward conduct between them, like sexual relations without the obligations associated with marriage. However, research shows that this is not necessarily so, as most individuals who engage in live-in relationships are not looking for some escape clause but as something to bring them closer together before considering marriage seriously. Hence, all these societal fears may not hold ground if suitable awareness and proper education are provided amongst teens and young adults through school curriculums, TV programs etc.

A Live-In Relationship Should Be Legalized

Those supportive of legalizing live-in relationships feel that it would give couples a chance to get to know each other better before entering into a total marriage commitment. This can help reduce divorce rates as both participants will be aware of any potential problems or incompatibilities ahead of time. Furthermore, couples who often find themselves in longer-term cohabiting arrangements could benefit from certain legal protections that come with making such unions officially recognized by law.


Throughout societies worldwide, many customs have changed over time to reflect present realities and cater for modern needs – given this perspective legalizing Live-In Relationships could be one step forward towards achieving social justice for everyone!

A live-in relationship is when two individuals live together for an extended period without getting married. For example, if two people move in together and are in a long-term committed relationship but don’t get married, they could be considered to be in a live-in relationship. A live-in relationship is more common in the United States and Canada, but it is also gaining popularity in other parts of the world, including India. With the popularity of live-in relationships on the rise, it is essential to understand the laws surrounding them in each country.

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