Legal Residence and Domicile- The Difference between the Both

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Many people might have heard the saying which says that one person can have a number of residences but can only have one domicile. A domicile by definition is the place which a person considers to be his permanent home. This is one place where the person always returns to or intends to return to. In some cases, a residence can also be referred to as a domicile.

Another way the term domicile is explained is as a “legal residence”, which also means a permanent residence. So, it is always important to know and understand the actual meaning of the statute which is used for domicile and residence. For example, kids have the same domicile as their parents till they are of certain age and leave home and then they are free to choose their domicile.

How to change domicile?

If one intends to change the domicile, there are two things a person must do. He must relocate to a different location and establish the residence there with the intention to reside there permanently. The most vital factor of domicile is the intent. You can still move to any state and have your domicile located in Virginia as it would be your permanent home.

The importance of a domicile

A domicile has its own importance, especially in cases of separation and divorce. As per the law, you and your spouse have to be a domiciliary of the State of Virginia for atleast six months before filing for divorce. Some states also want the person to be a bonafide resident as well as a domiciliary for duration as specified by the state laws.

The State also requires the person to have a voter id, vehicle registration as well as state operator’s licence.

How to prove domicile?              

There are various factors which can be used to prove domicile and these include bank location as well as investment accounts. Local income taxes are not enough to prove a person domicile. Payments towards non-resident as well as the tuition fee receipts for your kids also can be used to prove domicile.

In case there is any anticipation on the issue of domicile, make sure you gather all the needed documents and make sure you prepare a factual showing.

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