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Mere cohabitation or negotiation for marriage is not a marriage. A document will not solemnize a marriage. Marriage in accordance with the custom of the community has to been conducted, unless it is proved there is no valid form of marriage. If the marriage is not took place in accordance with the manner known to law, then no one can claim husband and wife relationship.

Registered agreement entered into between parties agreeing that they would not take another spouse and that they accepted each other as husband and wife is not a marriage. Betrothal is not a marriage.

A person cannot be said to married merely they have a long and intimate relationship between them. The parties should show some valid forms of marriage well known to law. If there is no known manner of marriage format was performed then no one can assume a marriage was performed and the parties of such function can treat as husband and wife.

When a valid marriage is not established between the parties then the parties cannot claim husband and wife status. They wont be a legal heir of the other party and no share in the property can be claimed by the other party. Long and intimate relationship only shows the live-in relationship not declares the husband and wife status.

What are the valid format of marriages?

1.A Hindu and a Christian cannot undergo a marriage ceremony under Hindu Marriage format.

2. A Hindu and a Muslim cannot undergo a marriage ceremony under Muslim law.

3. Marriage between persons belong to different religion can undergo marriage only under special marriage format, if they perform marriage under any format then it is void.

4. A persons of Hindu or Christian cannot have a valid marriage by merely signing an agreement.

5. Having a reception without any marriage ceremony is not a valid marriage.

6. Having a marriage certificate without performing marriage ceremony is not a valid marriage.

7. Merely registering a fake marriage which was not held before the marriage register and obtaining marriage certificate is not a valid marriage.

8. Any marriage which took place without the recognized customary rites and practices between Hindus, Christians and Muslims or to any other religious persons is not a valid marriage.

9. Mentioning the name in Ration card or Aadhaar card or Voter Id as husband and wife is not a valid proof of Marriage.

10. Birth certificates of the children is not a valid proof of Marriage.

11. Affidavit sworn before the Notary public and commissioner of oaths is not a valid marriage.

12. A man lived as husband and wife for more than 50 years presumption they are married.

13. No strict proof of marriage is necessary to claim maintenance under 125 Cr.P.C.

Accepted form of Hindu Marriage

1.Tying of mangalliya sootara or thali around the neck of the bride by the bridegroom was an essential rite to be performed so as to constitute a valid marriage between a man and a woman

2. Taking seven steps by the men and women surround the sacred fire constitute a valid marriage.

3. In Tamil Nadu marriage between any two Hindus, whether called suyamariyathai marriage or seerthiruththa marriage or by any other name, solemnized in the presence of relatives, friends or other persons-

(a) by each party to the marriage declaring in any language understood by the parties that each takes the other to be his wife or, as the case may be, her husband; or

(b) by each party to the marriage garlanding the other or putting a ring upon any finger of the other; or

(c) by the tying of the thali. The above things constitute a valid marriage.

4. Oral evidence of co-worker of wife and landlord, both parties living together as husband and wife which is sufficient proof of marriage for the purpose of maintenance under CR.P.C. Supreme court in Kamala case in 2018(3) DMC 694.

5. Where a man and woman are proved to have lived together as man and wife along with his father and mother, the law will presume, unless the contrary be clearly proved, that they were living together in consequence of a valid marriage and not in a state of concubinage.

6. The supreme court held in Tulsa case in 2008 (4) SCC 520 that under the light of the section 114 of the Evidence Act it is the Presumption of marriage that a man and woman living together for 30 years as man and wife is husband and wife

(a) Under Section 50 and 114 of Evidence Act marriage can be presumed from the common course of natural events and the conduct of parties as they are borne out by the facts of a particular case.

(b) The presumption was however, rebuttable, but a heavy burden lies on the person who contends that there was no marriage.

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Category Family Law, Other Articles by - K.P.Satish Kumar