Harshita Dixit, Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Management Studies
"We may not have it all together but together we can have it all. "
Cohabitation, often referred to as a live-in relationship, is an arrangement where two people who are involved in a long-term or permanent romantic and sexual relationship decide to live together without marriage. Since the live-in relationship has been legalized in India, it is essential to know the duties and responsibilities that come with it.
There is no specific law in India regarding live-in relationship matters. There is no legal regulation that establishes the rights and obligations of the parties living in a relationship and the status of children born to such couples. There is no legal definition of a live-in relationship, and thus the legal status of this type of connection is also unverified. Indian law does not confer any rights or obligations on the parties to a live-in relationship. However, the court clarified the concept of a live-in relationship through various judgments. Although the legislation is still unclear about the status of such relationships, few rights have been granted by interpreting and amending existing legislation to prevent abuse of such relationships by partners.
Later, in the landmark case of Revanasiddappa v. Mallikarjun1, the court held that regardless of the legitimacy of the relationship between the parents, a child born of that relationship must be considered separately from the relationship between its parents. Justice AK Ganguly observed that a child born of such a relationship is innocent and entitled to all the privileges and rights available to those children born of valid marriages.