Live-In Relationship As A New Form Of Family

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Written By: Swapna Sudha Sahoo

Introduction

Marriage is considered a sacrament that is based on the bond of faith, loyalty, love, respect, trust, understanding, and affection. It is a social institution that is always based on a sense of tolerance and perseverance. There are certain objectives and principles which are attached to marriage and one needs to follow them as well when he/she enters into marriage. The earlier generation was more religious and considered marriage as a holy thing when done but as time passed people being quite busy in their daily lives hardly get certain time to involve in marriage.

The present generation feels themselves to be much burdened in their lives and therefore they don’t want to enter into any marriage activities. They prefer the alternative to marriage which is a live-in relationship. In this, a couple can live like a married couple but without any kind of commitment or promises as such made by the married couples.

However, the concept of live-in relationships gives rise to various problems or questions like whether the live-in relationship is legalized in India, whether pre-marital sex is legalized in India. Marriage is the institution for the legalization of sexual relationships. So can sexual relationships before marriage be considered legal or not.

Also, what will be the consequences of the children who are born out of such live-in relationships. Live-in relationships are practiced mainly in urban India mostly widespread in metropolitan cities.

There are people who have two points of view. One set of people believe that the live-in relationships are not good because the pre-marital sex is not lawful and the children born out of such don’t have any identity whereas the other set of people believe that the youngsters must be given their choice of freedom to live with their partners. [1]

Legality Of Live-In Relationships

Live-in a relationship doesn’t create any rights and responsibilities between the couple as provided under marriage. The man is not bound to maintain the woman nor has any responsibilities towards her. This relationship is solely based on one’s own will and also can come to an end solely by one’s own will. These couples live together not because they are married rather, they just want to live together. Although the concept of a live-in relationship is not stated under any law or statute of government still according to various judgments of the Supreme Court of India it has been stated that the live-in relationship is legalized in our country.

In the case of Badri Prasad vs. Dy. Director of Consolidation, in this case, both the parties were subject to a live-in relationship for more than 50 years and the question before the Supreme Court of India was that whether they shall carry the same statute or will there be any changes. The Supreme Court passed the verdict in their favor and stated that a live-in relationship is legal.

In S. Khushboo vs. Kanniammal, the Supreme Court stated that the right to live together lies under the right to life and personal liberty stated under Article 21 of the Constitution of India. Further, the Supreme Court stated that although the concept of living together may be immoral under the eyes of those who are conservative still it is totally legal under the eyes of the law. [2]

Moral And Social Issues

Marriage is a social institution that binds the husband and wife in a relationship filled with love. It is considered a sacrament. Marriage leads to the legalization of sexual relationships as well as legitimatization of the children. So, whenever the boy and girl live together it brings a question about their pre-marital sex and the legitimization of children. People start questioning their character as well as their family’s upbringing. However, today in metropolitan cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai, etc. Live-in relationship is totally prevalent.

In comparison to the rural areas, mostly the urban areas are more forward in this aspect of the live-in relationship. They start living with their partner as they wish to do so and there is no wrong in doing so. [3]

Can Live- In Relationship Substitute Marriage

The Supreme Court of India held in the case of Badri Prasad vs. Dy. Director of Consolidation, in which it granted to a couple the right of living together in a live-in relationship for more than 50 years. However, a live-in relationship can never substitute marriage. Marriage gives the identity to the children who are born out of such a relationship whereas the children born out of live-in relationships are still questioned about their legitimization.[4]

Conclusion

Our country India is always valued for its traditions, values, and cultures. Marriage is also similar to such thing which is based on the culture upliftment and values upholding. Marriage is a social sacrament that keeps the husband and wife safe and secured forever with so much guidance and support to each other. A live-in relationship is quite opposite of marriage. Although it’s not illegal still it can’t provide legality to the children born out of such.[5]


[1] Emerging concept of live- in relationship, http://www.legalservicesindia.com/article/1013/Emerging-Concept-of-Live-in-Relationships.html

[2] Status of live in relationship in India, https://www.helplinelaw.com/family-law/slri/status-of-live-in-relationships-in-india.html

[3] live in relationship, https://www.thebetterindia.com/132607/want-to-get-into-a-live-in-relationship-here-are-the-rights-you-need-to-know/

[4] live in relationships in India, https://www.indiafilings.com/learn/live-in-relationships-in-india/

[5] live in relationship in India, http://www.legalserviceindia.com/legal/article-5471-live-in-relationship-the-new-normal-.html


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