Domicile: Categories of domicile: Domicile of origin
The common law ascribes a domicile of origin to every individual at birth. Under the laws of the UK a domicile of origin is never lost, other than by adoption.
A domicile of origin can be placed into abeyance (that is ‘temporarily suspended’) by the acquisition of a domicile of dependence or a domicile of choice, but it remains in the background ready to fill any gap that would otherwise arise. In this way, an individual is never without a domicile.
An individual who abandons a domicile of choice without acquiring another one will be held to be domiciled in his or her domicile of origin during any intervening period, because an individual must always have a domicile.
Domicile at birth
If a child’s parents were married when he was born then his domicile of origin is the same as his father’s domicile at the time of his birth.
If a child’s parents were not married when he was born, or if his mother was widowed before his birth, then his domicile of origin is the same as his mother’s domicile at the time of his birth.
It follows that an individual’s domicile of origin will, in virtually every case, depend on the domicile of one of the individual’s parents. This parental domicile might have to be demonstrated by evidence. In some cases the process of establishing an individual’s domicile will require the examination of the domicile of earlier generations of his or her family.
An abandoned child whose parents are unknown has a domicile where it is found.
It is likely that a child whose relevant parental domicile cannot be ascertained will be treated in the same way as an abandoned child whose parents are unknown.