If I found out that my wife’s sister was under the age of 18 and signed as a witness, does this make the marriage voided?

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If I found out that my wife’s sister was under the age of 18 and signed as a witness, does this make the marriage voided?

Asked on February 19, 2018 under Family Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes. In order to have a valid marriage, it must be properly witnessed. That having been said, there may well be some case law in your jurisdiction that would allow the marriage to be treated as valid if it was performed in good faith and the bride and groom (you and your wife) were of legal age. This might be an even stronger case if the underage witness (your ister-in-law) has since turned 18 and has not repudiated their action. Bottom line, you should consult directly with a local attorney who can best advise you under specific state law.

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes. In order to have a valid marriage, it must be properly witnessed. That having been said, there may well be some case law in your jurisdiction that would allow the marriage to be treated as valid if it was performed in good faith and the bride and groom (you and your wife) were of legal age. This might be an even stronger case if the underage witness (your ister-in-law) has since turned 18 and has not repudiated their action. Bottom line, you should consult directly with a local attorney who can best advise you under specific state law.


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