Indian Court: Any couple who have sex are legally married

Indian court rules that any couple who have sex are legally married… and would need to divorce if they want to sleep with someone else

They don’t fool around with fooling around in India.

Story from the Daily Mail (Link)

-Any couple who have sex to be considered married, Madras High Court rules
-This means they would also need to divorce should they break up
-Either of them could register the ‘marriage’ if they can prove they had sex
-The legal registration could be done without the other persons approval


If an unmarried couple have sex they are considered husband and wife – and would have to ‘divorce’ if they split, an Indian court has ruled.

When two people of legal age, 18 for a woman and 21 for a man, ‘indulge in sexual gratification’ this should be seen as a ‘an act of total commitment’ and marriage by law, a judge at Madras High Court said.

The court said that the registering of a marriage as well as a wedding ceremony were only formalities to gain society’s approval.

It also said that once two people have sex this ‘becomes a total commitment with adherence to all consequences that may follow’, including needing a decree of divorce should they want to sleep with someone else.

In addition, should either of the two wish to register the ‘marriage’ they can have their marital status declared by a Family Court as long as they can supply proof of a sexual relationship.

Once declared by the court, the person can be established as the other’s spouse – whether the other party approves or not.

‘Legal rights applicable to normal wedded couples will also be applicable to couples who have had sexual relationships which are established,’ the court declared in their ruling obtained by The Hindu.

The verdict came in a spousal maintenance case where a lower court had ruled that a woman was not entitled to maintenance from the father of her two children as there was no proof of their marriage.
Justice C.S. Karnan ruled that legal documents proving the couple’s life as spouses were more important than proof of marriage.

3 thoughts on “Indian Court: Any couple who have sex are legally married”

  1. I probably should have used the phrase “know each other” as used in Genesis, which doesn’t necessarily include the act itself. Even if there are physical/mental limitations, the intent is there. They are willing to be that intimate, that close, that vulnerable. I have good friends in wheelchairs from birth who will never be able to “consummate” a relationship as defined by man today, and some of them are married. And they are just as married as the ambulatory folks. I know there’s not a lot written about this. One of those “taboo” subjects I guess.

    I’ve always considered the be fruitful and multiply plan part of Old Testament teaching, which is in a completely different sphere when it comes to human sexuality. We had to establish an existence on this earth and the Jewish people had to increase their army. That was all completely changed with the New Testament.

    1. I dunno. Remember, some hetero married couples have no sex at all.

      Christians tell kids that if they just wait for marriage, they will have (and the term most oft used is) “mind blowing” sex – but then they marry and the sex is terrible and/or their partner doesn’t want to have any sex. I’ve written about that before here and here, and here, and in a few other posts. (Same thing happens to Mormon couples.)

      A lot of Christians try to define marriage as being a baby-making vehicle, but there are many Christian couples who cannot have children (infertility, low incomes) or choose not to have any because they don’t like kids or whatever the reason.

      So then you get these pearl clutching conservative Christians who fret and fret about the decline of Christian bay-bee making and shame singles for staying single and not cranking out kids (I have no choice about being single, they don’t seem to get that), and they shame married couples for not having kids.

      I’ve written about that issue under the ‘procreation obsession’ tag. It’s really none of their business if couples have kids or not. Christians need to stop dictating the kid thing to other Christians. I don’t think the “fruitful” verse was intended for all believers for all eras.

      Anyhow… there are Christian (and Non Christian) marriages that are devoid of sex, where one partner doesn’t want to have sex, or both agree they don’t want sex, so they agree to live like platonic room-mates, in a sense.

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