Is Live-In Registration Mandatory Outside India? What The Law In US, UK, Europe Says
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Dehradun: The Indian State of Uttarakhand has tabled the Uniform Civil Code today - February 6, 2024. In this Civil Code, the state government proposed for the registration of live-in relationships within one month of cohabitation. If the couple fails to register themselves with their local government offices, they would be subject to a three-month jail term and a hefty fine.
Across the world, live-in relationships have been welcomed and are now a common practice in society.
Live-In Relationships Across the World and Their Laws
In the United States, cohabitation and live-in relationships are a common practice. However, in most parts of the US, there is no legal registration or definition of cohabitation.
However, in some states, for instance, California, cohabiting couples are required to register themselves as "domestic partners" under the Domestic Partners Registry.
In Canada, live-in relationships are legal under the common law. If a couple has lived together for 12 months without a break are then recognised to receive legal sanctity under the common law relationship. These couples enjoy similar rights as legally married couples.
Australia and New Zealand
In Australia, the Family Act recognises a live-in relationship as a "de-facto relationship" which can exist between two people of different or the same sex.
In New Zealand, "de-facto relationships" are recognised under the law as a relationship where two people live together as if they are married or in a civil union, without being legally married or in a civil union. In New Zealand, people who have stayed in a live-in relationship for at least three years are covered under the law, unless they have a child together or one partner has made a significant contribution to the relationship.
European Union and The UK
Several countries in the European Union recognise de-facto unions, however, these relationships, usually long term need to register. Two people living together would be required to make a legal declaration of their cohabitation together.
In the UK, a couple man living together in a sexual relationship, stably, are covered as Common Law Spouses under the law and this relationship is governed by the Separate Act. While it is not mandatory to register in the UK, registering as a civil partnership will give legal recognition to the relationship and protection under the law.
The UK also has the 2004 Civil Partnership Act, which is solely for same-sex couples in the country.
Will Live-In Registrations Become Mandatory In India?
As of now, only the state of Uttarakhand has tabled the Uniform Civil Code. Under this, a section for live-in relationships has been proposed, which suggests that a couple living together for one month must register themselves in a legal partnership other than marriage to define their relationship.
The Uttarakhand Civil Code was tabled today by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami in the state assembly. If the bill is passed, it would then be sent to the state governor for approval. The bill would then be passed on to the President of India for their assent before being made into law.