According to New York Domestic Relations Law § 230, the terms "domicile"
and "residence" are synonymous. Further, the residency requirements
needed to file a divorce in New York are not satisfied by the bodily presence
of parties within a State. In addition to a physical presence, there must
be an intention to make New York one's permanent home. Intent can
be demonstrated with a lease, tax return, New York car registration, or
Once the plaintiff establishes residency, the court assumes that he/she
intends to continue living at the resident. If one party believes that
the other intends to change residences, he/she holds the burden of proof.
The term "domicile" refers to the party's subjective intent;
whereas residency qualifications are determined by his/her actual, physical
location. In other words: the person in question must physically dwell
in the applicable state for a certain amount of timed before he/she is
considered a resident of the state.
We recently represented a client whose husband claimed that he was a resident
of New Jersey after we served him with a summons in New York. The address
he gave in New Jersey was an address, which after investigation, turned
out to be a Post Office Box. He also submitted a New Jersey Driver's
license with the same Post Office Box and presented the Post Office Box
number as an apartment number.
In an affidavit he admitted to living in New York five years earlier. Our
office argued that the husband had not established residency in New Jersey
by using a Post Office Box. In order to establish residency (the intention
to live in New Jersey), he would have to provide a lease, deed, electric
bills, etc. - items that show his intention to actually live in New Jersey.
This case is presently in front of a judge, waiting for a decision.