In India, the concept of Live-In Relationships is not expressly recognized by the legislature.
However, the courts in India have time and again observed that a long continued live-in relationship can raise a presumption of marriage to safeguard the interests of the parties (generally women) to such arrangement and the children born out of such arrangement.
Reforms of Criminal Justice System
1) That evidence regarding a man and woman living together for a sufficiently long period should be enough to draw the presumption that the marriage was performed according to the customary rights and ceremonies of the parties
2) It was proposed that the word wife in the section 125 CrPC should be altered to include a woman who was living with the men like his wife for a reasonably protracted period.
Marvin versus Marvin
Court used a new expression of “palimony” has been coined the which is a combination of “pal” and “alimony”. For social obligation of a man entering into a live-in relationship with another woman without the formalities of a marriage.
It was held that
1) The provisions of the family law do not govern a non-marital relationship; such a relationship remains subject solely to the judicial decisions.
2) The court should enforce Express contracts between non marital parents except founded on the consideration of meretricious sexual services.
Gokal Chand versus Pravin Kumari
It was held that continuous cohabitation of men and women as husband and wife may raise the presumption of marriage but the presumption which may be drawn from long cohabitation is rebuttable and if there are such circumstances which we can destroy that presumption, the court cannot ignore them.
Badri Prasad v Director of consolidation
A strong presumption arises in favour of wed-lock where the partners have lived together for a long spell as husband and wife. Although the presumption is rebuttable, a heavy burden lies on him who seeks to deprive the relationship of legal origin.
D. Velusamy and D. Patchaimal
To get recognized as “in the nature of marriage,” certain conditions were set by the Supreme Court in the case of “D. Velusamy and D. Patchaimal (5 SCC 600).”
1) Duration of period of relationship Section 2 (f) of the DV Act has used the expression “at any point of time”, which means a reasonable period of time to maintain and continue a relationship which may vary from case to case, depending upon the fact situation.
(2) Shared household The expression has been defined under Section 2(s) of the DV Act and, hence, need no further elaboration.
(3) Pooling of Resources and Financial Arrangements Supporting each other, or any one of them, financially, sharing bank accounts, acquiring immovable properties in joint names or in the name of the woman, long term investments in business, shares in separate and joint names, so as to have a long standing relationship, may be a guiding factor.
(4) Domestic Arrangements Entrusting the responsibility, especially on the woman to run the home, do the household activities like cleaning, cooking, maintaining or upkeeping the house, etc. is an indication of a relationship in the nature of marriage.
(5) Sexual Relationship Marriage like relationship refers to sexual relationship, not just for pleasure, but for emotional and intimate relationship, for procreation of children, so as to give emotional support, companionship and also material affection, caring etc.
(6) Children; Having children is a strong indication of a relationship in the nature of marriage. Parties, therefore, intend to have a long-standing relationship. Sharing the responsibility for bringing up and supporting them is also a strong indication.
(7) Socialization in Public Holding out to the public and socializing with friends, relations and others, as if they are husband and wife is a strong circumstance to hold the relationship is in the nature of marriage.
(8) Intention and conduct of the parties Common intention of parties as to what their relationship is to be and to involve, and as to their respective roles and responsibilities, primarily determines the nature of that relationship. Live-in relationships are the new and on-going trends among the youth that gives them the freedom to live without any pressure of arranged marriages.