Divorce and Separation Agreements in Thailand

Divorce In Thailand

Professional Corporate Services, (PCS), has a Family Law division that exclusively handles divorce cases. Our Thai lawyers collectively have more than 25 years of experience dealing with divorce and separation specifically among couples where the husband is a foreigner and his wife is Thai. We handle all such cases responsibly and with dedication. Whenever possible we will attempt not to involve the court, as this can then get messy and expensive. We prefer to negotiate settlements and make ironclad, mutually acceptable divorce and seperation agreements.

Contested or Uncontested Divorce

There are two categories of Divorce in Thailand - Contested and Uncontested. Once your divorce team has heard your story they will be able to assess what type of divorce you will need.

Contested Divorce
This basically means that the couple cannot resolve their divorce issues and the lawyers for the respective parties cannot agree on terms. So the case needs to move to court. Either party can file a complaint to the Central Juvenile and Family Court citing the grounds for the divorce and the court will then schedule the first hearing. Contested divorces can take years to settle and multiple appearences in court which means additional expenses.

Uncontested Divorce
An uncontested divorce is an administrative form of divorce in Thailand where both parties agree on all the issues concerning the divorce, including but not limited to the division of marital property and debts, child custody, child support, and alimony or spousal support. In other words you agree on all divorce related issues.

Preparing Divorce And Seperation Agreements

One of the first questions that any good family lawyer will ask is whether there was a prenuptial agreement registered at the time the couple registered their marriage. If there was it must be examined to know what property is off limits and what if any alimony is agreed upon. The lawyer will also need complete clarity as to the grounds for divorce (see below "Grounds For Divorce"). Finally the lawyer will address the agreement and its terms. Here is what needs to be looked at carefully;

  1. Common Property Separation
  2. Child Custody
  3. Child Support
  4. Compensation Due To Infidelity

1. Common Property Separation - This refers to property that the couple acquired during the time they were legally married. It covers bank accounts, stocks, bonds, land, cars, basically any assets that were acquired in the name of either spouse. This property is referred to a marital property and Thai Family Law states that it must be split equally.

2. Child Custody - This is a very complex issue and Thai Juvenile and Family Courts takes it very seriously. It is best if the couple comes to some sort of agreement regarding child custody. This is something our expert team can help you with, negotiation with your spouse.

3. Child Support - Again this is a very complex issue and the Thai Courts will take it very seriously. The Law states that child support should be split equally. That is not always easy to do if one parent has been the bread winner and the other has been the care giver. It is advisable that the couple once again comes to some sort of agreement regarding child support.

4. Compensation Due To Infidelity - Thai Law frowns upon infidelity and basically allows the spouse that is damaged to sue and claim compensation from the person involved in the affair. So if a husband commits adultery with woman A and the grounds for divorce are proven to be because of adultery, the wife has the right to sue woman A for compensation. The amount of the compensation should be reasonable and fair, but should also be elevated because the court will certainly bring it down but will never raise it. Once again, this is something that the divorcing parties can negotiate and avoid going to court over.

So to summerize, it is advisable that a couple who seeks to divorce do so by sitting down and negotiating a settlement agreement. This divorce agreement can then be brought to any district office and filed with the application for divorce. It's quick and inexpensive way to put an end to a complicated situation.

Please Note that this type of divorce is only applicable to couples who have gotten married in Thailand through a distrct office. Couples who were married outside of Thailand can still get an "uncontested divorce" in Thailand but they will need to make a couple of court appearences. That process can take about 3 or 4 months.

Grounds For Divorce

The Civil and Commercial code of Thailand, Section 1516 - Grounds For Divorce states the following;

  1. One spouse has given maintenance to or honored another person as wife or husband, committed adultery or had regular sexual intercourse with such other person, the other spouse may enter an action for divorce;
  2. one spouse is guilty of misconduct, notwithstanding whether such misconduct is a criminal offence or not, if it causes the other:
    • to be seriously ashamed;
    • to be insulted of hated or account of continuance of being husband or wife of the spouse having committed the misconduct;
    • to sustain excessive injury or trouble where the condition, position and cohabitation as husband and wife are taken into consideration;
    the latter may enter a claim for divorce;
  3. one spouse has caused serious harm or torture to the body or mind of the other, or has seriously insulted the other or his or her ascendants, the latter may enter a claim for divorce;
  4. one spouse has deserted the other for more than one year, the latter may enter a claim for divorce;
    1. one spouse had been sentenced by a final judgment of the Court and has been imprisoned for more than one year in the offense committed without any participation, consent or in the knowledge of the other, and the cohabitation as husband and wife will cause the other party sustain excessive injury or trouble, the latter may enter a claim for divorce;
    2. The husband and wife voluntarily live separately because of being unable to cohabit peacefully for more than three years, or live separately for more than three years by the order of the Court, either spouse may enter a claim for divorce;
  5. one spouse has been adjudged to have disappeared, or as left his or her domicile or residence for more than three years and being uncertain whether he or she is living or dead;
  6. one spouse has failed to give proper maintenance and support to the other, or committed acts seriously adverse to the relationship of husband and wife to such an extent that the other has been in excessive trouble where the condition, position and cohabitation as husband and wife are taking into consideration, the latter may enter a claim for divorce;
  7. one spouse has been an insane person for more than three years continuously and such insanity is hardly curable so that the continuance of marriage cannot be expected, the other may enter a claim for divorce;
  8. one spouse has broken a bond of good behavior executed by him or her, the other spouse may enter a claim for divorce;
  9. one spouse is suffering from a communicable and dangerous disease which is incurable and may cause injury to the other, the latter may file a claim for divorce;
  10. one spouse has a physical disadvantage so as to be permanently unable to cohabit as husband and wife, the other may enter a claim for divorce.

EXTREMELY IMPORTANT - The Family Law consultants at Professional Corporate Services believe that negotiating and signing divorce and seperation agreements to be extremely important to a successful and inexpensive divorce in Thailand and thus we strongly suggest that clients consult with one of our professionals. Please remember the 1st consultation is totally FREE so don't hesitate to contact us!

Contact PCS

Our Address

219/2 Asoke Towers Building, 2nd Floor, Sukhumvit 21 Road

Email Us

info@pcsthai-1.com

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+66 2 120 9480

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