(Latin: domicilium, habitation, dwelling)

A person's stable residence in virtue of which he becomes subject to local authority and is entitled to certain rights. It can be acquired in two ways. For one way two things are necessary: that he ac. tually take up his residence in a given place; and that he intend to remain there permanently. This intention does not deprive him of his freedom to change his residence, but it requires that at present he have no intention of leaving it. The moment both those conditions are verified, domicile is acquired. It is also acquired by an actual residence for a full ten years even without the intention of establishing a permanent residence in the place. He can have two or more domiciles by establishing distinct permanent residences, e.g., for summer and for winter. Voluntary domicile can be acquired by an adult who is not juridically dependent upon another. A wife who is not legitimately separated from her husband retains the domicile of her husband, minor children that of their father (or widowed muther), and the insane that of "their guardian, wherefore this is called necessary domicile. A wife not legitimately separated from her husband and minor children above the age of seven years can acquire only a quasi-domicile. Of itself, absence from his domicile, no matter how long protracted, does not deprive a person of that domicile. He loses it only if he leaves it with the intention of not continuing his residence in the same place. By domicile one obtains a proper parish and a proper diocese. He thereby becomes subject to a certain pastor and bishop and is entitled, and with some exceptions obliged, to ask certain ministrations of them. Thus he is bound to obey the bishop of his domicile and the particular laws of the diocese (except when abroad), and can be sued only in the court of that diocese. Similarly he is entitled to seek the usual ministrations from his proper pastor and must ordinarily receive those strictly reserved to the latter from him.

New Catholic Dictionary

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