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An Act to make void marriages between persons either of whom is under the age of sixteen.
[10th May 1929.]


Be it enacted by the King's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-
1.-(1) A marriage between persons either of whom is under the age of sixteen shall be void
Provided that in any proceedings against a person charged under subsection (1) of section five of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1885, or charged with indecent assault, it shall be a sufficient defence to prove that at the time when the offence is alleged to have been committed he had reasonable cause to believe that the girl in respect of whom it is alleged to have been committed was his wife.
(2) Nothing in this Act shall affect-
(a) any marriage solemnized or contracted before the passing of this Act, and any such marriage shall be or become valid in any case where, if this Act had not been passed, it would be or become valid, or
(b) in Scotland any right or capacity of legitimation per subsequens matrimonium.
2. A single woman who has been delivered of a child may, upon proof that before the birth she was a party to what but for the passing of this Act would have been a valid marriage and that the other party thereto had access to her within twelve months before the birth of the child, make at any time an application under section three of the Bastardy Laws Amendment Act, 1872, for a summons to be served on that party, notwithstanding that he may not within the twelve months next after the birth of the child have paid money for its maintenance.
3.-(1) This Act may be cited as the Age of Marriage Act, 1929, and the Marriage Acts, 1811 to 1898, and this Act so far as it relates to England may be cited together as the Marriage Acts, 1811 to 1929, and the Marriage (Scotland) Act. 1916, and this Act so far as it relates to Scotland may be cited together as the Marriage (Scotland) Acts, 1834 to 1929.
(2)This Act shall not extend to Northern Ireland.

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First published in 2008.

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