Explain three types of domicile.

Types of domicile.

  1. Domicile of origin

This is the domicile a person acquires at birth. Sections 3-6 of the law of Domicile Act sets out the rules / principles governing acquisition of domicile of origin:

  • An infant born legitimate acquires the domicile of the father.
  • An infant born after the father’s death acquires the domicile of the father as at the date of death.
  • An infant found without parents (foundling infant) is deemed to acquire the domicile of the country in which he is found.
  • An infant legitimated the marriage of its parents acquires the domicile of the father as at the date of legitimating.
  • An adopted infant acquires the domicile of the adopter.
  • An infant adopted spouses acquires the domicile of the husband.
  • Domicile of origin is never lost but may be suspended when a person acquires a domicile of choice.

 

  1. Domicile of dependence

This is the domicile of a person who is legally dependant on another.

This domicile changes with that of the other person e.g. the domicile of an adapted infant depends on that of the adopter, while that of a legitimate infant depends on that of the father.

Domicile of an infant married woman depends on that of her husband.

 

  1. Domicile of choice

This is the domicile a person acquires choosing which country to make his permanent home.

Every person of sound mind who has attained the age of majority (18 years) has capacity to acquire an independent domicile of choice.

For a person to acquire a domicile of choice, he must:

Take up actual residence in the country of choice.

Have the intention of making the country his permanent home.

Once a domicile of choice is acquired, the domicile is suspended but is reverted to when the domicile of choice is lost.

Under the law of domicile Act, upon marriage, a woman acquires her husband’s domicile.

Under section 10 (1) of the Act, no person may have more than one domicile at a time and no person shall be deemed to be without domicile.

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