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Subject: Re: [CHS] AGE of MARRIAGE WITNESSES.
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 2009 21:01:11 +0000


Ruth is correct. A witness to any legal document is a valid witness or not, regardless of their age. They do not have to have any specific level of education or competence, or even 'credibility': they simply have to be able to realize what it is that they are witnessing. They are not even attesting to the accuracy of the document they are witnessing. They are not certifying the document as accurate: just affirming that the specified event took place.

Looking back, I reckon I would have been a valid witness to a wedding or for a will at the age of 9 or 10, possibly earlier..

However, Registrars and Off Mins are/were often puffed up with their own importance and tell people what is not strictly the legal situation.

If ever I get married I will have at least one underaged witness and insist on him/her, just to prove the point. (I'm like that - possibly why I've never been married).

My Gran in her last few months would have been well 'of age', but not a valid witness, as she had only sporadic appreciation of what was happening around her.

Best wishes

Allen


------Original Message------
From: Ruth Wilson
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Sent: 15 Jan 2009 18:57
Subject: Re: [CHS] AGE of MARRIAGE WITNESSES.

wrote:
> When I married in 1987 I was told that the witnesses who sign the
> register/certificate must be 18 or older. My God-daughter, who was 15 and a bridesmaid,
> couldn't sign. As far as I know this still stands but when it was introduced
> I don't know.
>
> Sandra.
>
> -------------------------------
> To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to with the word 'unsubscribe' without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message
>
>
>
Whatever you were told, this is NOT true. The witnesses must be of a
'credible age' or some such phrase - i.e. they have to be old enough
(mature enough?) to know what was going on and what they are witnesses
to. This is the case today, and as far as I am aware, it has always been
so. I suppose the registrar, minister or authorised person might have
varied ideas as to what is meant by a 'credible age' but it is not
stated in calendar years in the regulations.

Ruth


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