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Amit (NA)     07 May 2012

Living in

I asked similar question in another thread but that's kinda unanswered. So asking in a separate thread to get some traction.

 Is a man awaiting divorce living-in with an unmarried woman considered legal?

What are the rights of the woman in this scenario?

What about the rights of children out of this relationship?



 12 Replies

Amit (NA)     07 May 2012

OK. It seems this has been answered to a large extent in:

So my understanding is that this is not adultery and not bigamy.

And the current wife can cite cruelty (but not 498A) and get a divorce (the man is awaiting divorce anyway).

So overall, no criminal offence. Please let me know if this is not so.

Sankaranarayanan (Advocate)     07 May 2012

it is not legal, witout get court order you can t  marry another,

Amit (NA)     07 May 2012

Thanks Sankar.

But I did not ask about marriage here. I am asking about living together.

Sankaranarayanan (Advocate)     07 May 2012

This is not suitable for indian culture. If both like to live as in same way then no issue.

Vishwa (translator)     07 May 2012

Under certain conditions, the live-in wife has the same rights as a legally married wife and she can file DV case against you. You will have to pay maintenance for the children if any

pun (eng)     07 May 2012

what in the case if wife has deserted and filed the divorce case where no adultery reason is mentioned..and now husband started living in with an unmarried/divorcee/widow woman..can husband now charged for adultery even though the case is already filed for divorce and the new woman is living in with man with knowing all the facts.

Amit (NA)     07 May 2012

Adultery according to IPC 497 is

(1) Man should be married.

(2) His partner woman should be married.

(3) Adultery is committed w/o the partner's husband's consent.

If these three criteria are met then only it's a criminal offence and it does not matter if the man is awaiting divorce for whatever reasons.

So in the case you mentioned, it's not an adultery from criminal point of view.

But not sure if living in is allowed. I guess it is.

But note that prolonged living-in is considered equivalent to marriage. I don't know what the definition of "prolonged" is but with little care the man can easily prove that the relationship is not very old.

Amit (NA)     08 May 2012

Today I read in the news paper about a divorce case wherein husband and wife have been fighting divorce case with husband paying interim maintenance to wife. When wife asked the maintenance to be increased, husband claimed that he can't meet the expenses as he's having three kids from live-in relationship.

The Bombay HC observed that the live-in relationships are bad and asked the couple to sort out their divorce case in an amicable manner.


So it transpires that live-in relationships are "bad" but not "Illegal". That's a big relief to all divorce awaiting husbands if they can get a willing partner.

R.K Nanda (Advocate)     08 May 2012

No, it is not legal and the man must take divorce from court and then to go for live-in.

Amit (NA)     08 May 2012


Nanda, under what section is it illegal? Note that this is not bigamy or adultery.

Can you cite me judgements where the husband was punished for having live-in relationship while awaiting divorce or even while remaining married?

Anjuru Chandra Sekhar (Advocate )     08 May 2012

@R.K. Nanda.  Dear Sir.  As per Law of Adultery (Sec.497 of IPC) only a man can initiate a criminal proceeding against his wife's Adulterer, a woman cannot initiate a criminal proceeding against another woman if her husband indulges in adultery.  Bigamy is different from adultery, here in this case, the man is only living in with another woman but not married with her. And that woman is unmarried.  At the most his wife can initiate a civil proceeding under HMA and press for divorce, which anyways is what the man wants. 


What is your take?

rajiv_lodha (zz)     08 May 2012

@Nanda! Its not ILLEGAL in any way according to present laws. @ Amit! U r right to much extent. If the new partner remains non-complaining forever, its not a big deal

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