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Live-in relationships are legal in the eyes of the law. Read on to know more on the rights of women in live-in relationships.
Live-in relationships may sound exciting. But sometimes they become complicated, especially for women and the children born from a live-in relationship. It’s important to be aware of rights of women in live-in relationships.
Live-in relationships are where a woman and man live under one roof with mutual consent, like husband and wife, but without getting married. This has become very common in metropolitan cities these days, where two independent people simply do not want to get married. This relationship can be terminated without the consent of the other party.
Live-in relation may not be recognized completely at the social level, but Indian law does consider this relationship to be legal.
Just like how women have rights after marriage and divorce, women living in a live-in relationship also have the following rights. Here are the rights of women in live-in relationships.
If the woman in a live-in relationship is subjected to any kind of atrocities by the man, whether it is beating, being mentally harassed or tortured in any way, then the woman has the right to take legal action against the man through the Domestic Violence Act.
A woman living in a live-in relationships also has the same right on property as a married wife. On deprivation, the woman can take her right under the law.
If the partner breaks the relationship with the woman without mutual consent, then in such a situation, the woman has the right to alimony.
In the event of a break up in the live-in relationship, the woman can claim her right over the child and can also keep the child with her.
The child born in a live-in relation is called a ‘love child’.
According to the Supreme Court, the child born from a live-in relationship, will get all the rights that a child born to any married couple gets.
Let’s know which are those rights.
If the woman becomes pregnant during the live-in relationship, then both the parties will bear the cost of the care and hospitalization of the woman girl and the future child. If one party is not capable, the other party will bear the cost.
If there is no agreement between the couple regarding the birth of the child and one party refuses to spend, then the other party can take recourse to the court and the order of the court will prevail.
If the parents of the child belong to different caste and religion, then on attaining majority, the child can adopt any surname or religion. For this, the child has got special exemption from law.
A child born from a live-in relationship has all the rights that a child born to a married couple enjoys. The child has a right on the property of both the parents and can also file a case in the court in case of refusal.
A child born from a live-in relation has every right to take care of oneself. It will be the duty of the parent to fulfil every need of the child and failing to do so means the child can take care of the cost of their maintenance by filing a court case.
After birth, if there is a refusal by the parents to adopt or nurture the child, then in such a situation, the court can give an order against the parents on the plea of itself or any NGO.
The child born out of live-in relationships will get all the legitimate rights, but the woman will not get the legal right to be a wife. In such a situation, if the man and woman want, they can tie the knot with each other or with any other. The decision of who will keep the child can be decided by the couple or even by the court. Even after having a child, they cannot pressurize each other for marriage.
In our society the practice of live-in relationships has increased. Earlier these cases were seen in metro cities and now are being seen in small cities also. Many times, people living together in a live-in relationship also become victims of many types of crime. There are many cases like pressures to have a physical relationship, beatings, money fraud, which are heard of every day.
Sadly, many times the lack of knowledge of rights of women in live-in relationships leads to deception and unwanted pregnancies which spoils their life. So, it is very important that women know their rights before choosing a live-in relationship.
Even today, in some sections of our society do not accept live-in relationships. But as the Supreme Court of the country has said, it is not a crime to have a live-in relationship when two adults are together of their own free will. In such a situation, people’s thinking is also slowly changing and the society is gradually accepting it.
In my opinion, who are we to interfere in someone’s personal affairs when there is no objection by the law of the land? Instead of interfering, we should change ourselves and adopt the principle of “live and let live”.
The dynamic social environment has brought changes many times and we have accepted it. In the same way, instead of judging live-in relationships, we should start accepting it.
Image source: avid creative from Getty Images Signature via Canva Pro
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