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COVID-19 UPDATE: Goodwins is committed to delivering high-quality service while keeping our staff and clients safe. Currently, courts remain open and our team will continue to operate as normal, but all consultations and meetings will now be made via video call. Click here to view our full response to COVID-19.

FAQ: What is my Domicile?

FAQ: What is my Domicile?

A domicile is defined as the country that you live in, have a substantial connection with and treat as your permanent home. It is not the same as nationality, citizenship or residence. 

There are two main types of domicile: domicile of origin and domicile of choice. 

Domicile of origin is acquired at birth. You will be assigned the same domicile as one of your parents, meaning your domicile may not correspond to the country in which you are born.

  • If your parents are married when you are born, you will take the domicile of your father.
  • If your parents are not married, you will take the domicile of your mother.
  • If you are adopted, you will take the domicile of your adopted father.
  • If there is no adopted father, you will take the domicile of your adopted mother.

Domicile of choice is the domicile of which you consider to be your permanent home. From the age of 16, you have the ability to acquire a new domicile, replacing your domicile of origin as your current domicile. You can only ever have one domicile at any one point, even if you have multiple homes in multiple countries.

To establish your new domicile, you must demonstrate the following:

  • You have settled permanently in the country.
  • You intend to stay in the country indefinitely.
  • You have broken ties with your previous domicile.

Showing intent is crucial for establishing a domicile. Factors including your will, your tax, your business, and social and family commitments will all be taken into account when determining your current domicile.

If you would like to arrange an initial fixed fee consultation regarding divorce proceedings, you can get in touch with us today for a confidential discussion and we’ll be happy to help. Our offices are conveniently based in Harrow, London, with on site car parking and accessible from public transport links. Alternatively, if you are overseas we can arrange a Skype call with you if it is more convenient.


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