Family Law: Where do People Live?

Family Law: Where do People Live?

In Grange Ins Co of Michigan v Lawrence, the Michigan Supreme Court held that a child can have only one “domicile” but more than one “residence.” Quoting prior cases, the Court stated,

For purposes of distinguishing “domicile” from “residence,” this Court has explained that “domicile is acquired by the combination of residence and the intention to reside in a given place . . . . If the intention of permanently residing in a place exists, a residence in pursuance of that intention, however short, will establish a domicile” (citation omitted). The traditional common-law inquiry into a person’s “domicile,” then, is generally a question of intent, but also considers all the facts and circumstances taken together (citation omitted).

In other words, a child’s domicile will always be his residence, but his residence will not always be his domicile. This case deals with Michigan’s No-Fault Act, but it will clear up many aspects of family law as well.

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