Saturday, April 28, 2007

Proving something I am not

For the signing of a legal document here in Lithuania the notary tells me, after a quick perusal of my passport, that I need to have a document from my country of birth to prove that I am not married. Leaving aside the fact that my country of birth is not my country of citizenship, just how does a Brit do that?

They suggest a barrister. We don't have those in Scotland, but here I'm nitpicking again. Luckily I've once or twice bought houses in Scotland, so I dealt with a solicitor for that. I've asked him - let's see what he says. But doesn't he also only know what I tell him? The Lithuanian notary tells me there must be some authority at which people are registered. Well, Mrs, there ain't. Even though in the UK we are the most supervised nation in the world, we don't actually have to tell the state where we live or who we live with, unless we want benefits or something. In other European countries there is a great requirement for people to register their address, and even, in Lithuania, you need to spell out your educational level when you ask for a loan or a residence permit.

So I've now contacted the General Register Office in Scotland, who apparently can give me a chit, for a fee, to show that I have never got married. In Scotland. My passport is UK. Will the notary understand about devolution? She did not seem to be of the listening persuasion. The National Insurance computer, covering the whole of the UK, probably does not have these details, and all those I knew from that organisation are now retired. But how will they in Lithuania know whether I have a husband anywhere else? Strangely, they don't need such a certificate from the Lithuanian authorities, after 6 years' residence here. Which is strange, because last time I signed such a document, I had to get the document from the Lithuanian authorities, rather than the Scottish ones.

Considering that for the last almost 30 years I have had to, as an unmarried mother, listen to all that vitriol about us from British governments of both flavours, this is really a bit ironic.


varske said...

How on earth are you supposed to prove a negative? If they haven't managed a central register for health problems yet you wouldn't expect a central register for non-marrieds, or no-childrens.

On the other hand my father had a certificate proving to my mother that he was not married and did not have TB or VD. We thought this was a joke, but it did turn up, in Portuguese!

violainvilnius said...

I wish you could just take a medical test for not being married or not having children under 18....