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Affidavit

child, marriage, father, alleged, affinity, sister, law and wifes

AFFIDAVIT is a statement in writing swum before a person authorised to administer an oath. Apart from certain officials of the Court, the person who usually administers oaths is a Commissioner for Oaths. Ile is generally a solicitor, and his fee for the oath is one shilling and sixpence; and an additional shilling for each exhibit—any document attached to the affidavit. The person who makes an affidavit is called the deponent. Ile must confine himself to facts within his own knowledge ; except in interlocutory pro ceedings, when statements according to his belief, but with the grounds of his belief set out, will be admitted. The affidavit may be in print or in manuscript, or partly in either. See DECLARATION.

AFFILIATION.—Any single woman may apply to the magistrate at the Petty Sessions for the district in which she may be resident for the time being, for a summons against a man alleged by her to be the father of a child in respect of which she applies. The father may be proceeded against even though he has paid a lump sum down to the mother on agreement that no proceedings shall be taken—and even also, where the payment agreed is a weekly sum. It has been held that a single woman includes a widow and a married woman living apart from her husband, provided she can furnish sufficient evidence of non-access by her husband. The Court has nd juris diction unless the child is born in England or Scotland, but its nationality is a matter of indifference. An order cannot be made in respect of a still born child. If there are twins, two separate orders should be made. The application may be made before the birth of the child; but in such a case, the date fos hearing the summons will be fixed beyond the period at which the mother expects the child to be born.

After birth of the child, the mother must apply for the summons within twelve months from its birthday ; unless she can declare on oath that the alleged father has, during such period of twelve months, paid money towards the maintenance of the child. If she can show that the alleged father ceased to reside in England within the twelve months next after the child's birth, she may take out a summons at any time within twelve months from the date of his return. If the alleged paternity is denied, the mother must be corroborated in her story by some material particular. Such corroboration may rest upon admissions by the alleged father ; or upon his letters, after proof of his handwriting. If the mother is proved to have been previously

of immoral character, her evidence will be received with suspicion, and weighed carefully. The Court, may order the father to pay the expenses of the birth, and funeral, if any, and a weekly sum not exceeding five shillings for its maintenance. The Court can direct that these weekly payments are to be continued until the child attains sixteen years of age. In the absence of such directions they cease when the child is thirteen years old.

AFFINITY.—Almost the only point of view in which affinity is a subject of any importance in English or Scots law is as an impediment to marriage; persons related by affinity being forbidden to marry within the same degrees as persons related by consanguinity, or blood. The word means relation ship by marriage, and the above rule follows from the principle that by lawful marriage husband and wife become as one person. The practical interest in this subject gathered, until the passing of the Deceased Wife's Sister's Marriage Act, 1907, round the deceased wife's sister. According to the above rule she was " in law " the husband's sister ; they were therefore incapable of valid intermarriage. In many other countries, even in British colonies, the law on this point was dillerent to ours. The statute to which we have alluded provided that marriage with a deceased wife's sister should no longer be deemed void as a civil contract by reason only of the affinity- of the parties. It did not, however, assume to alter or amend the law of the Church of England, which to-day remains as before the Act, and so was careful to exclude a clergyman in holy orders in that Church from an obliga tion to perform such a marriage. Whether a clergyman will perform the marriage ceremony depends entirely upon his personal inclination. me rule of affinity in this matter is expressly preserved, too, in the civil lam so far as regards adultery with a wife's sister, and the preservation of the illegality of marriage with a divorced wife's sister during the lifetime of the divorced wife. " A Table of kindred and Affinity wherein whosoever are related are forbidden in Scripture and our laws to marry together," was ordered by Archbishop Parker to be printed and set up in the churches. This order was confirmed in the reign of James I., and so to this day the law stands, and the table appears in full in the Book of Common Prayer. See CONSANGUINITY.