[email protected]
Mon - Sat 09:00-20:00
Consult Now

In this article we have explained Legal Rights Of Unmarried Couples In India.In India, the concept of live-in relationships and the rights of unmarried couples have evolved significantly over the years. Despite the traditional outlook of Indian society, the law has taken strides to recognize and protect the rights of couples living together without marriage. This article aims to shed light on the legal standing and rights of unmarried couples in India.

Understanding Live-in Relationships

What is a Live-in Relationship?

A live-in relationship involves two adults living together like a married couple, without legally getting married. In India, such relationships have become more common, reflecting a shift in societal attitudes towards marriage and companionship.

Legal Recognition in India

Indian law does not explicitly recognize live-in relationships, but the Supreme Court has affirmed that if an unmarried couple lives together as husband and wife, they would be presumed legally married. The court recognizes such relationships under the “right to life” provision in the Constitution of India.

Legal Rights Of Unmarried Couples In India

Protection Against Abuse

Unmarried couples in live-in relationships are entitled to protection from abuse. The Domestic Violence Act, 2005, which was initially designed to protect married women, also covers women in live-in relationships. This law ensures protection against physical, emotional, and financial abuse.

Property Rights

Property rights for unmarried couples in India are not as clear-cut as for married couples. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that an unmarried woman can claim a share in her partner’s property if she can prove a long-term domestic relationship. This claim depends on the proof of partnership and contribution towards the household.

Children’s Rights

Children born to unmarried couples have the same rights as those born to married couples. They have the right to inherit property and are entitled to a share in their parent’s assets. The law ensures that these children are not discriminated against on the basis of their birth.

Financial Support

Unmarried women in long-term live-in relationships can seek financial support from their partners if the relationship ends. The court can order the man to provide maintenance if it is proven that the couple lived together in a relationship similar to marriage.

Challenges and Legal Gaps

While the law has made progress in recognizing the rights of unmarried couples, there are still many legal gaps and societal challenges. Unmarried couples often face difficulties in renting homes, applying for joint loans, or adopting children due to societal norms and legal restrictions.


The legal rights of unmarried couples in India represent a significant shift towards recognizing diverse forms of relationships. While there are still challenges and societal stigma associated with live-in relationships, the law is gradually evolving to offer protection and rights to unmarried couples. It is a step towards acknowledging personal freedom and the changing dynamics of relationships in contemporary Indian society.

FAQs on Legal Rights of Unmarried Couples in India

1. Can unmarried couples live together legally in India?

Yes, unmarried couples can live together legally in India. The law does not prohibit live-in relationships.

2. Are live-in relationships recognized by Indian law?

Yes, Indian courts have recognized live-in relationships under the protection of the “right to life” provision in the Indian Constitution.

3. Can a woman in a live-in relationship seek protection against abuse?

Yes, women in live-in relationships are protected under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005, against abuse.

4. Do children born to unmarried couples have rights?

Yes, children born to unmarried couples have the same legal rights as those born to married couples, including inheritance rights.

5. Can an unmarried couple adopt a child in India?

The adoption laws are complex, but generally, single individuals can adopt, and specific criteria apply for unmarried couples.

6. Can an unmarried woman claim maintenance from her partner?

Yes, an unmarried woman can claim maintenance from her partner if they have lived together in a relationship similar to marriage.

7. Do unmarried couples have rights to each other’s property?

Unmarried couples do not have automatic rights to each other’s property, but claims can be made based on contributions and the nature of the relationship.

8. Is there any presumption of marriage for long-term live-in relationships?

Yes, the Supreme Court has held that a presumption of marriage exists for couples living together for a long period.

9. Can unmarried couples check into hotels together?

Yes, unmarried couples can check into hotels together, as there is no law prohibiting it.

10. Are there any specific laws for live-in relationships in India?

No specific laws exclusively govern live-in relationships, but various laws and court rulings address their rights and protections.

11. Can a partner in a live-in relationship seek custody of children after separation?

Custody decisions are based on the child’s best interests, regardless of the parents’ marital status.

12. What legal documents can support the existence of a live-in relationship?

Joint bank accounts, property ownership, or any legal document that names both partners can support the existence of a live-in relationship.

13. Can live-in partners file for domestic violence?

Yes, live-in partners can file for domestic violence under the Domestic Violence Act, 2005.

14. How can an unmarried couple ensure their financial rights?

Unmarried couples can enter into agreements regarding property and financial arrangements to ensure rights.

15. Is it necessary to register a live-in relationship?

No, there is no legal requirement to register a live-in relationship in India.

16. Can an unmarried couple inherit each other’s property?

Without a will, inheritance can be challenging, but partners can nominate each other in life insurance policies, wills, etc.

17. How can an unmarried couple secure their child’s future?

Naming the child in wills and insurance policies and registering the birth with both parents’ names are ways to secure the child’s future.

18. Can unmarried couples share a bank account?

Yes, unmarried couples can jointly own a bank account.

19. Are there any tax benefits for unmarried couples?

No specific tax benefits are available for unmarried couples living together.

20. How can an unmarried couple obtain a home loan?

Unmarried couples can apply for joint home loans, but approval depends on the bank’s policies.

21. What is the legal status of foreign nationals in live-in relationships in India?

The same principles apply, but immigration laws and visa statuses can influence the situation.

22. Can an unmarried couple be forced to separate by their families?

Adults have the right to choose their living arrangements, and forced separation is not legally supported.

23. How can live-in partners prove their relationship in court?

Evidence such as joint bank accounts, shared residence proof, and witness testimony can help prove a live-in relationship.

24. What happens if one partner in a live-in relationship dies without a will?

The surviving partner does not automatically inherit unless named in a will or as a nominee in financial accounts and insurance policies.

25. Can live-in partners make medical decisions for each other?

Legally, they cannot make medical decisions unless specified through a power of attorney or similar legal document.

26. What happens to shared property if a live-in relationship ends?

The division of shared property depends on the agreements made and contributions by each partner.

27. Can live-in partners testify against each other in court?

Yes, live-in partners can testify against each other in court, as there is no legal marital privilege.

28. How does society view live-in relationships in India?

Societal views vary, with increasing acceptance in urban areas, but traditional views still dominate in many parts of the country.

29. Can an unmarried couple get health insurance together?

Some insurance companies offer policies for live-in partners, but options may be limited.

30. How can unmarried couples protect their legal rights?

Unmarried couples can protect their rights through legal documents like wills, property agreements, and powers of attorney.

Related Posts

Leave a Reply