Any individual seeking a divorce in England and Wales must satisfy the court that it has the power to deal with the case on the basis of that individual or their spouse’s links to this country but the manner in which they do this can in some cases have serious financial consequences.
To establish the necessary links the party seeking a divorce must rely on the technical legal concepts of habitual residence and domicile.
“Habitual residence” essentially means the place where a person’s life is currently based on a settled basis. “Domicile” is a more complex concept and but refers to the country which a person has permanent links with and an intention either permanently to remain in or to return to. An individual can live in another country for decades and still consider themselves domiciled in England. At birth a person gains a “domicile of origin” from their parents and that domicile can be displaced through them as an adult gaining a different “domicile of choice”. Neither concept is straightforward and it is important to take legal advice if you...
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