Domicile, the place where by law a man is deemed to reside. There has been much confusion and conflict of opinion as to what shall constitute a person's domicile, which, as will be seen, is not necessarily the same as his residence. The general conclusions may be stated •as follows: 1. The domicile of the parents at the time of a child's birth is the child's domicile, though if the child be illegitimate it takes the domicile of the mother. 2. The domicile of origin continues until a new one is acquired, and the domicile of the husband and father is presumptively that of the wife and children, though if they reside apart from him, not temporarily merely, but by permanent voluntary or judicial separation, they are capable of acquiring a distinct domicile of their own. 3. The domicile of origin is lost immediately when a person of full age, or legally competent to act for himself, takes up his abode elsewhere with the intention of abandoning the former and of remaining permanently in such new place of abode. To these rules it may be added that presumptively the place where a man lives is his domicile, where nothing to the contrary appears. The law of domicile is specially important as regards the transmission and disposition of property.
While the conveyance and descent of real property are governed by the law of the place (lex rei sitoe), personal property, on the other hand, for the purposes of distribution in cases of insolvency and intestacy, and also of disposition by testament, is to be governed by the law of the owner's last domicile. This is a principle universally recognized, without regard to the location of the property, except that a state may doubtless exercise the right to appropriate property actually within its limits to the satisfaction of claims due to its own citizens, to the exclusion of claimants abroad. As regards belligerent rights and liabilities, if a person reside in a country which is at war with another, his property will be lawful prize as belonging to a belligerent; or if the country be neutral, he is entitled to the privileges of a neutral in respect to bona fide trade. The residence which gives this neutral right is sometimes spoken of as a domicile, but it is obvious that the term as thus used has no other meaning than actual residence and engagement in business, which it will be seen does not per se constitute a domicile in respect to other legal incidents.
A single exception is made in the case of a person who leaves his own country flagrante bello, it being thought inconsistent with his natural allegiance that he should be permitted to enter into neutral relations with the enemy after war had actually commenced. On the same principle greater strictness would probably be insisted upon in regard to the nature of the residence when the question was between the emigrant and his native country, even if he went abroad before the breaking out of hostilities; yet it is difficult to see how even in that case it could be required that a domicile should have been acquired other than results from actual residence abroad for bona fide business purposes. - The rule of the civil law that a man may have two domiciles, as where he resides a part of the year in one place and a part in another, or where he is carrying on business in two places, is repudiated in England and in the United States.