Divorces are rarely joyful matters. A lot of mixed emotions and doubts tend to come with it. When one or both parties have decided to take the step, we’re here to help.
In Thailand, it is possible to file for two types of grounds for divorce: a Contested Divorce or an Uncontested Divorce. The former tends to be very costly whilst the latter, also known as an Administrative Divorce, Thai divorce is cheaper and less complicated. It is highly recommended that you seek professional legal advice in Thailand before agreeing to sign any documentation with regard to divorce proceedings.
Marriage in Thailand creates jointly owned marital property. Upon divorce, all property of husband and wife (jointly owned marital assets and debts) shall be divided equally between man and woman (section 1533). Seek legal assistance in your area to make sure your divorce runs smoothly without losing your rightful assets.
There are 2 types of divorces:
- Uncontested Divorce
An uncontested divorce is the administrative form of divorce in Thailand. It is swift and straightforward. The spouses must be physically present when applying for an uncontested divorce. It is conducted at the district office.
- Contested Divorce
Contested divorce is judicial or court divorce. One party to the marriage is given recourse to go to the courts to end his/her marriage if any of the grounds provided under Thai law is attendant.
A contested divorce is required if there are disagreements on child custody and marital property sharing which the parties cannot settle by themselves, and the court’s intervention is necessary to put an end to the marriage and the accompanying issues. Is it also the remedy for some couples who have not registered their marriage in Thailand but have been residing or working in Thailand for a reasonable length of time?
Divorce – Thai & Thai
Thai’s usually end their marriage through an uncontested divorce. They favor this option because it averts further conflict between husband and wife, as well as their families. As much as they can, Thai couples will settle issues on the sharing of child custody and marital property privately. Only in rare cases when a compromise can no longer be reached so they consult with a divorce lawyer to assist them in the drafting of a Thailand divorce agreement which they will register at the district office when they get their divorce in Thailand.
Divorce – Thai & Foreigner
The rapid exposure of Thailand to the world in terms of commerce and tourism has resulted in many marriages between Thai nationals and foreigners. Unfortunately, differences between cultures and languages have strained some relationships and in Thailand divorce has become inevitable in these cases.
Almost always, the Thai spouse will suggest an uncontested divorce if the marriage registration takes place in Thailand, as the uncontested divorce is more known and favored by Thais. Foreigners must take extra care before proceeding to have an uncontested divorce. The reason is that not all countries recognize this form of divorce. Many countries now recognize uncontested divorce but only under special circumstances. It may pose more problems especially if the foreigner has plans of remarrying.
Divorce – Foreigner & Foreigner
Foreigners who want to divorce in Thailand must seek the advice of a lawyer so they may be guided if and how they can proceed to divorce. Your Thailand divorce lawyers must be able to advise you whether your home country will recognize a divorce that you will receive in Thailand. There are cases where couples would go through a divorce only to find out that their State cannot recognize their foreign divorce.