Live-in relationship began as an alien conversation in the Indian legislature. However, after a few cases that came into light since 2013, the Supreme court began taking steps to provide those in a live-in relationship with laws that’ll protect their rights. 

What is identified as a live-in relationship? 


Two consensual adults living together in a domestic setting, in heterosexual relationship are provided with rights to protect them. However, if one of them is married to someone else then their relationship is illegal. Homosexual relationships are yet to be identified by the marriage laws in India. 

Protecting women against domestic violence in live-in relationships


The Domestic Violence Act was enforced as an attempt to protect women from abusive (physical, mental, verbal or economic) marital relationships. The act also includes ‘relationship in nature of marriage,’ and live-in relationships fall under that umbrella, protecting the women in abusive live-in relationship by giving them the opportunity to take their grievances to court. 

Does a woman get alimony if a live-in relationship is ended? 


If the woman, after the end of a live-in relationship isn’t able to provide for herself and any children from the relationship then the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act provides her with protection and maintenance, granting the right of alimony to an aggrieved live-in partner. Section- 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code gives the legal right of maintenance to the woman, in or out of a marriage.

What rights do children born in live-in relationships have?

While couples in a live-in relationship are not allowed to adopt kids as per the Guidelines Governing the Adoption of Children as per the Central Adoption Resource Authority, the children born into these relationships do have certain rights. According to Section- 16 of the Hindu Marriage Act, a legal status of legitimacy is provided even to an illegitimate child (child born out of marriage) for the sole purpose of inheritance. In these cases, inheritance rights are granted to children born out of a live-in relationship, and are viable in accordance to both ancestral and self-bought properties.


If there is a dispute for the custody of the child, the couple can consult a Child Custody Lawyer. Providing maintenance for the children differ according to the laws, where under the Hindu Law the father has to maintain the child, and under the Muslim Law the father has been absolved of such an obligation.