In law, domicile is the status or attribution of being a lawful permanent
In early societies, there was little mobility but, as travel from one
Domicile is governed by
Domicile is distinct from
It is a settled principle, that no man shall be without a domicile, and to secure this result the law attributes to every individual as soon as he is born the domicile of the father if the child be legitimate, or the domicile of the mother if illegitimate. This has been called the domicile of origin, and it is involuntary. Other domiciles are domiciles of choice, for, as soon as the individual is
Domicile of choice is a conclusion or inference which the law derives from the fact of a man fixing voluntarily his sole or chief residence in a particular place with the unlimited intention of continuing to reside there. This is a description of the circumstances which create or constitute a domicile, and not a definition of the term. There must be a residence freely chosen and not prescribed or dictated by any external necessity such as the duties of office, the demands of creditors, or the relief of illness. And it must be residence fixed not for any defined period or particular purpose, but general and indefinite in its future duration. It is true, that residence originally temporary, or intended only for a limited period, may afterwards become general and unlimited, and in such a case, so soon as the change of purpose or the animus manendi may be inferred, the fact of domicile of origin may be extinguished by act of law, as, for example, by sentence of death,
Expressions are found in some books in one or two cases, to the effect, that the first domicile remains until another is acquired. This is true, if applied to the domicile of origin, but it cannot be true if such general words were intended (which is not probable) to convey the conclusion, that a domicile of choice, though unequivocally relinquished and abandoned, clings, in spite of his will and act. to the party until another domicile has animo et facto been acquired. The cases to which I have referred are in my opinion met and controlled by other decisions, but more especially by the reason of the thing. A natural born Englishman may, if he domiciles himself in Holland, acquire the status civilis of a Dutchman, which is of course ascribed to him in respect of his settled abode in Holland, but if he breaks up his establishment, sells his house and furniture, discharges his servants, quits Holland, declaring that he will never return to it again, and taking with him his wife and children for the purpose of travelling in France or Italy in search of another place of residence, can it be said, that he carries his Dutch domicile on his back, and that it clings to him pertinaciously until he has finally set up his tabernacle in another country? Such a conclusion would be absurd. But there is no absurdity, but, on the contrary, much reason in holding, that an acquired domicile may be effectually determined by an unequivocal intention and act, and that, when it is so determined, the domicile of origin instantly revives, and continues until a new domicile of choice is acquired.
Depending on a person's circumstances, it has historically been based upon the following principles:
|Domicile of origin||
|Domicile of choice||
|Domicile of dependency||
A person's domicile can have important personal consequences:
There is tension between "domicile of origin" and "domicile of choice" which arises out of the fact that the latter can only be acquired through fulfilling both:
The ability to settle permanently has been held to arise only when one can become a
However, it is more difficult to abandon a domicile of choice than to acquire it. In the case of abandonment, both the above conditions must be fulfilled simultaneously as they are interrelated, whereas they are discrete in the latter case of acquisition.
The lack of intention to remain permanently can lead to unexpected results:
A, whose domicile of origin was England, went to India where he had a legitimate son B. B, while resident in India, had a legitimate son C who also, while resident in India, had a legitimate son D. A, B and C intended to return to England when they retired at sixty years of age, but they all died in India before reaching that age. D's domicile of origin remains England, even though he has never lived there.
Certain anomalous jurisprudence occurred where persons lived abroad in cases relating to
Unsuccessful attempts were made to adapt that case law to other circumstances. In 1844,
The reasoning behind such decisions was never satisfactorily explained, and the
Before special provision was made in the case of foreigners resident in such countries for application to their property of their own law of succession, for their trial on criminal charges by Courts which will command their confidence, and for the settlement of disputes between them and others of the same nationality by such Courts, the presumption against the acquisition of a domicile in such a country might be regarded as overwhelming, unless under very special circumstances. But since special provision for the protection of foreigners in such countries has been made, the strength of the presumption against the acquisition of a domicile there is very much diminished.
The rules governing civil domicile have on occasion been confused with those governing commercial domicile that appear in