domicile and habitual residence

These legal concepts are very important in an international divorce and where there are legal issues affecting a child.

Domicile – The country which a person regards as their home country, whether or not they are currently living in that country.

There are two types of “domicile”.

A “domicile of origin” (the domicile of the father at the time of the person’s birth) and a “domicile of choice” which can be subsequently acquired.

A special legal status is associated with domicile.  A person may be able to get divorced in their country of domicile, even if they have not lived there during the marriage.

Habitual residence – the country of ordinary residence, i.e. living there voluntarily and for settled purposes (such as work, training, family life), apart from temporary or occasional absences.

A person must spend an appreciable part of time somewhere to claim habitual residence there. International abduction cases the term refers to the country regarded as the child’s home and in Brussels II, the centre of the child’s life.

If any of these issues affect you please call Maguire Family Law for a consultation with a specialist family law solicitor.

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