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Married Person’s Domicile

Historically, laws related to marriage favored the husband. For example, at one time the law was that married women could not own property separately from their husbands. That law has changed. Now, both a husband and wife have the right to solely own property. Another historical law related to marriage is that when a couple married, the wife was deemed to take the domicile of her husband. The husband had the right to choose where the family would live. The wife had the duty to go along with what the husband decided, unless it was unsafe or foolish for her to do so. This law also has changed. Now, according to NY Dom Rel Law § 61, the domicile of a married couple is established without regard to sex. When getting married, there are a variety of issues and complications that you may not have anticipated or planned for. While some of these issues are easy to resolve, others may require experienced legal representation. If you have questions or concerns related to your marriage or your family, contact an experienced New York family lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.

Married persons domicile

Domicile is where a person has a legal residence and where they plan to return. One can have homes in multiple places but can have only one domicile. For legal reasons, domicile is important because it determines the jurisdiction for purposes of assessing state income taxes, death taxes, the primary jurisdiction to probate wills and administer estates, and which court would have jurisdiction over a person. It determines where a person can vote and whether the person can exercise various other legal rights and privileges. Thus, establishing domicile is important.

There are several factors that will be considered when determining the location of a person’s domicile. While at one time the domicile of a married woman was determined by where her husband’s domicile was, that is no longer the case. Now, no one factor conclusively establishes domicile. The determination of a person’s domicile is a matter of that person’s intent. For example, registering to vote, applying for a driver’s license, registering your vehicle, and paying state and local taxes in a state are indicators that that your intention is for that state to be your domicile.

Residency requirement for divorce

If the couple is divorcing, there is a residency requirement outlined in NY Dom Rel Law § 230 that determines whether the parties can file an action for divorce in New York. The divorcing parties must meet the requirements, otherwise the divorce will be dismissed. Consistent with the premise that domicile of a married couple is not necessarily based on where either the husband or the wife lives, under NY Dom Rel Law § 230, for purposes of filing for divorce, if a married person lives in New York when he or she files for divorce, that person is deemed a resident of New York even if the spouse lives somewhere else.

Related Statutory Provisions
  1. Property of married woman: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 50
  2. Required residence of parties: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 230
  3. Residence of married persons: New York Domestic Relations Law, section 231
Domestic Relations Law, section 61: Married person’s domicile

The domicile of a married man or woman shall be established for all purposes without regard to sex.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

When couples marry, there are often a lot of details to figure out related to coming together as a family, including determining where they are going to live. Should you decide to divorce, where you live is also important. If you are struggling with legal issues related to your marriage or your divorce, immediately contact an experienced New York family lawyer who understands the legal intricacies of New York’s Domestic Relations Law. Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Queens, Suffolk County, Manhattan, Bronx, Nassau County, Brooklyn, Long Island, Staten Island, and Westchester County.

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