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Anish (Proprietor)     30 April 2012

Live in relationship.

A married man for 14 yrs with a 12 yrs son is now staying separate for 5 months. If he starts staying with an unmarried woman, what are the legal consequences and likely criminal cases ? The wife never joined her husband anywhere outside the home town. Before moving out, the man has proposed a "mutual consent" divorce to his wife but the wife is changing her mind constantly. The man has offered to give the wife his house (where the wife and son are currently) staying as one time settlement. The wife is currently having a good government job and the husband struggling in his business.


 9 Replies

Deepak Nair (lawyer)     30 April 2012

The man need to get divorce to start another relation. If he lives with another woman without getting divorce then this would amount to adultery which is a punishable offence under IPC.

But, the police can take action against the husband only on a complaint made against him. If the wife takes no action againt the husband, the police would not take any action.


Adultery consists of a s*xual relationship by a man(whether married or unmarried) with a woman who is married. The condition precedent for the application of Section 497 IPC(which punishes adultery) is that the woman with whom the man is having a s*xual relationship, should be married. Therefore, if the man starts staying with an unmarried woman no criminal case is made up. It only entitles the wife of this man to have her marriage dissolved by a decree of divorce.



Ashish Davessar


Delhi, Chandigarh


Anish (Proprietor)     30 April 2012

Thank You, Sir. Opinion of others defines 'adultry' as a relationship with a married woman. But, in this case, the woman is an adult and unmarried. So, would there still be a case of "adultry" against the married man. If yes, would the complaint have to come from the wife of the married man or anyone other neutral person or parents of the unmarried woman with whom the married man has started a live-in relationship.

Anish (Proprietor)     30 April 2012

Thank You, Sir ! Your reply gives good clarity on the legal aspects.

Appreciate your views.


As i said, there would be no criminal prosecution for adultery if the woman is unmarried.

Ranee....... (NA)     30 April 2012

but your wife may file another cases on you as it is(your relation) cruelty on your wife 

rajiv_lodha (zz)     30 April 2012

Yes, ur wife may pull it into the ambit of 498a with the help of some advo. So be a little bit cautious & then enjoy the new relationship if u want.

Not much is going to happen as long the new partener is NON-COMPLAINING!

Avnish Kaur (Consultant)     30 April 2012

mr Deepak Nair  lawyer?

please explain how it amounts to adultery

Avnish Kaur (Consultant)     01 May 2012

mr Deepak Nair  lawyer?

please explain how it amounts to adultery

please explain how adultery by a married man with an unmarried/widowed//divorced women is punishable under IPC , either u are not a lawyer or u dont know the law.

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