Born out of a live-in relationship, your legal status is still under question. In today’s society, live-in relationships have grown extremely prevalent. However, it’s still not clear in India what kind of legal standing such children have. In this post, we’ll talk about how the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 affects kids who are born into live-in couples.
Definition of a live-in relationship:
An unmarried couple living together in a romantic relationship without getting married is known as a live-in relationship. The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 does not acknowledge live-in partnerships. However, under certain conditions, the Supreme Court of India has recognised live-in partnerships as a legal kind of connection.
Legitimacy of children born out of a live-in relationship :
Unmarried children are deemed illegitimate under Section 16 of the Hindu Marriage Act. The Act does not, however, specify what constitutes a marriage, allowing leeway for interpretation in regard to the legality of children born in a live-in relationship.
In recent years, the legal system has adopted a more tolerant stance towards live-in partnerships, treating them similarly to marriage when evaluating the validity of children. The Supreme Court ruled in the 2010 case of S. Khushboo v. Kanniammal that a kid born outside of a marriage would be recognised as genuine and would have the same rights as a child born within marriage.
This choice was made in accordance with the tenets that children’s welfare comes first and that should not be penalized for the choices made by their parents.
Maintenance and Support:
Children, especially those born outside of marriage, are maintained and supported under Section 20 of the Hindu Marriage Act. The father is required under this provision to support both his legally adopted and biological children as well as his wife. It could be more challenging to prove the child’s paternity and enforce the father’s duty to support the child in situations where the parents are not married.
The Supreme Court ruled in Bharata Matha & Ors v. R. Vijaya Renganathan & Ors (2010) that even though a father had not publicly acknowledged fatherhood, he still had a duty to support his kid who was born out of a live-in relationship. The court determined that there is an obligation to provide for a child which arises from the biological relationship between the father and the child and cannot be avoided by simply denying paternity.
Illegitimate children cannot inherit from their father’s property unless they are acknowledged by him while he is still alive, according to Section 16 of the Hindu Marriage Act. Children born out of wedlock, including those born out of a live-in relationship, are covered by this provision.
The Supreme Court, on the other hand, has adopted a more lenient stance regarding the inheritance rights of children born out of a live-in relationship. In the 2008 case of Tulsa & Ors v. Durghatiya & Ors, the Supreme Court ruled that even though the father had not publicly acknowledged fatherhood, a child born out of a live-in relationship would be entitled to inherit from the father’s property. The court ruled that the Constitution of India’s fundamental principle of equality necessitated that children born out of wedlock should have the same inheritance rights as legitimate children.
In conclusion, the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 recognizes the legal status of children born out of a live-in relationship. Such children are considered legitimate and are entitled to the same rights and privileges as children born out of a valid marriage. The Supreme Court of India has also recognized the rights of children born out of live-in relationships, including the right to maintenance and inheritance. As the number of people choosing to live together without marriage continues to grow, it is important to understand and recognize the legal rights of children born out of such relationships