Does live-in-relationship degrades the institution of marriages?
“With changing social norms of legitimacy in every society, including ours, what was illegitimate in the past may be legitimate today.” – Honorable Justice A.K. Ganguly in Revanasiddappa v. Mallikarjun India is a country, which is slowly opening its doors to western ideas and lifestyles, one of which is the concept of live in relationships. A relationship of a man with a women in legal parlance is legitimate if is based on proper marriage and illegitimate if not as per Marriage Laws.The live in relationship is a living arrangement in which an unmarried couple lives together in a long-term relationship that resembles a marriage. In every day parlance, it is cohabitation. The basic idea of conducting a live in relationship is that the interested couple wants to test their compatibility for each other before going for some commitment. It may also be that couples in live-in relationships see no benefit or value offered by the institution of marriage or that their financial situation prevents them from being married on account of marriage expenses. Whatever the reason, it is quite clear that in a traditional society, where the institution of marriage is considered to be ’sacred’, an increasing number of couples choose a live-in relationship, sometimes even as a permanent arrangement, over marriage. In such situations, various social, economic and legal issues have arisen and continue to do so. This article analyzes the impact of live in relationships on marriage and family institutions. It also aims at comparing the status of live in relationships with the status of married couples with the help of judicial decisions in India. It argues that it is difficult to fit the concept of live in relationships within personal laws governing the institution of marriage and legitimacy of children. Can Live-in relationship also a factor to degrade the sacred institution of Marriage?