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Madhya Pradesh High Court Upholds Maintenance Rights for Women in Live-in Relationships

Bhopal: In a landmark ruling, the Madhya Pradesh High Court has made a significant stride towards acknowledging the rights of women in live-in relationships, asserting that a woman living with a man for a substantial period is entitled to maintenance upon separation, regardless of their marital status.

The judgment was delivered in response to a petitioner challenging a trial court order mandating him to pay a monthly maintenance allowance of ₹1,500 to a woman with whom he had shared a live-in relationship.

In a progressive stance, the judges underscored that maintenance cannot be denied if there is sufficient evidence of cohabitation between the partners. The High Court referenced the trial court’s findings, which determined that the couple had been living together as husband and wife. Moreover, with the consideration of a child born within the relationship, the court affirmed the woman’s right to maintenance.

This landmark decision marks a significant shift in the legal landscape concerning live-in relationships in India. It signifies a departure from traditional norms and signifies a recognition of the rights and vulnerabilities of women in such unions.

Earlier in February, Uttarakhand introduced a uniform civil code aimed at providing a legal framework for uniform marriage, divorce, land, property, and inheritance laws for all citizens. Notably, one section of the bill mandates the registration of live-in relationships, further emphasizing legal recognition and protection for couples in such arrangements. Additionally, the bill stipulates that parents of individuals in live-in relationships under the age of 21 must be notified.

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