Filing of Divorce in Thailand

The filing of divorce in Thailand can be complicated. It can also be costly and time consuming. It is important to hire an experienced Thai lawyer.

The first step is to understand the different kinds of Thailand divorce. This article will cover the following topics: Uncontested divorce, Contested divorce, and Administrative divorce.

Mutual consent

When both parties in a marriage wish to end their relationship, a divorce can be filed in Thailand. However, the process of filing a divorce is very complex and involves many different steps. It is recommended that both spouses consult with a qualified lawyer before they begin the process.

In addition to a divorce, the couple must also file a statement of property, which states their assets and debts. Moreover, the husband and wife must agree on alimony. They must also present a translated copy of their marriage certificate and national ID card to the officer at the District Office.

In case both parties can agree on a settlement, it is possible to get an uncontested divorce at the local district offices (Khet or Amphur). This form of divorce is recognised by most countries as long as the requirements have been met. However, the divorce may not be recognized in common law countries where a court order is required.

Contested divorce

If you and your spouse disagree on important issues, then you may want to file for a contested divorce. A contested divorce requires that you file a complaint with the court and meet certain requirements. For example, you must prove a reason for divorce that is legal under Thai law. You can find a list of grounds for divorce in Article 1516 of the Civil and Commercial Code.

You can also apply for an administrative divorce registration. This type of divorce is less expensive and more straightforward than a contested divorce. It is processed at the local district office or khet. You must both be physically present for this process.

When it comes to property, Thailand is a community property jurisdiction. This means that all assets and property acquired during marriage are considered shared. However, personal property (sin suan tua) remains the individual property of the owner. This can help prevent disputes. Any contract between you and your spouse (like a gift) that concerns personal property is subject to the laws on undue enrichment.

Administrative divorce

When a couple mutually agrees to end their marriage in Thailand, they can apply for an administrative divorce with a divorce agreement. This is an easy process and it saves both parties from the costs of hiring a family lawyer to represent them in court. It requires both spouses to be physically present and it can be completed within a day at the local registration office (also known as an amphur, amphoe or khet).

This method of divorce does not allow for any disagreements on issues such as children custody and property division. Also, it only applies to couples whose marriage was registered in the country and not to those who got married abroad.

However, if either of the spouses disagree with the application for an administrative divorce, they can file for a contested divorce instead. In a contested divorce, both spouses must prove one of the lawful grounds for divorce. For example, adultery or desertion.

Alimony

When a couple divorces in Thailand, they must decide how to share their property and children. They can either agree on these issues privately or they can use a lawyer to draft an agreement for them. The agreement will then be registered at the District Office “Amphur” when they register their divorce.

In case of a Contested divorce where the parties cannot reach an agreement on these issues the court will decide for them based on the law and individual circumstances. The court may award financial alimony to one spouse or to both.

When a marriage ends in divorce, the assets and debts of the husband and wife are considered joint and therefore subject to equal division. However, the law specifies that if there is no proof that an asset is personal (in Thai referred to as “Sin Suan Tua”) it will be considered marital and thus subject to an equitable distribution. This includes inheritance.

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