Couples prefer to live together rather than marry for many reasons. It is either to maintain single status or to test their compatibility prior to marriage. Some go for such relations to avoid hazards of hasty divorce as in case of marriage. On the other hand some do so to avoid legal bindings like those in case of married couples. These couples face legal issues either similar to those in case of marriage or dissimilar to those in case of marriage.
Legal Position of Live-in-Relationships
In many countries such relationship is illegal. The law prevailing in most of the countries is always in favor of marriage. Cohabitation without marriage is discouraged to preserve the moral values of the conservative society.
People living in such relationship get very little guidance in matters such as property, custody, inheritance, maintenance, etc.
Problems during separation- GOD FORBID- if that happens !
When such couples separate partition of property becomes an issue which can hardly be solved by virtue of any enactment .The one who becomes a destitute cannot seek for maintenance before any Forum as can be done in case of marriage.
Sometimes cohabiting parents face tremendous problems in establishing paternity. Children born out of such relationship are considered to be illegitimate. They face further problems in matters such as inheritance, maintenance from parents etc. On the other hand children born out of marriage get adequate protection in case of inheritance rights, maintenance matters, etc.
Cohabiting couples also face hazards in getting medical benefits of their partners from medical insurance companies which they normally provide to married spouses.
Moreover such relationships further increase complications when such couples are already married. Mostly in case of conflict between a cohabiting partner and the spouse of the other partner it is mostly the married spouse of the other partner who wins the legal battles in cases such as inheritance, maintenance, partition of property, etc.