Child Custody in Thailand

Child Custody in Thailand

This is intended to provide you with general information about child custody in Thailand. We have included relevant clauses from the Thai Civil and Commercial Code (CCCT) If you have any further questions or inquiries, please do not hesitate to contact us.


  • Parental powers CCCT 1549 onwards: Parental powers are the rights and obligations exercised by parents to raise a child. Parents with parental powers have the right to make all decisions concerning the child, including choices regarding religion and education. In return, parents have an obligation to provide physical, moral, and emotional health to the child. Parental powers in Civil Law are broader than terms like “custody.”
  • Custody: Child Custody in Thailand normally refers to the physical guardianship of a child. However, in Thai Law, child custody in Thailand is limited to the physical care and control of the child. Parents with parental powers may still have parental powers over the child even if they do not have custody.
  • Visitation rights: Visitation rights are the rights that someone has to contact or visit a child. In a divorce, where one parent is awarded full and sole custody and/or parental powers, the other, non-custodian parent is normally given certain visitation rights, by agreement or by the Court.

Thai Law

Child Custody in Thailand

Under Thai Law, the mother and father of a child do not have equal rights and obligations, unlike in some Western countries.

According to section 1546 of the CCCT, when a child’s mother and father are not married (or have not since the child’s birth registered a marriage) Only the mother has rights over the child together with associated obligation to the child. The father has no legal rights over the child.

However, there are three exceptions to this rule under section 1547 CCCT:

  1. If as above there is a subsequent marriage between the biological parents
  2. If there has been a registration made at the amphur with regards to legitimation of the child (usually 7 years and over)
  3. If there has been a judgment by the Court with regards to parentage and child legitimation

What is in the Best Interests of the Child

What is in the best interests of the child is the main criteria for all decisions taken about children under Thai Law. If both parents cannot or do not agree on matters of health, religion, education or custody, then a Thai court will base its decision on what it believes to be in the best interests of the Thai child.

How to Obtain Child Custody in Thailand

If you are the biological or prospective parent of a child and are seeking custody of your child in Thailand, you should speak with experienced and qualified Thai lawyers such as those at Isaan Lawyers family department to discuss your position.

Where you apply for child custody in Thailand there are a number of factors that the court will consider when making any custody decision, as above this includes what is in  the best interests of the child, the relationship the child has with its parents and how parents currently look after the child and how they intend to look after the child in the future


If you have any questions about child custody in Thailand, contact Isaan Lawyers  today.

Our dedicated inhouse experienced family lawyers will provide practical advice and guidance with regards to the handling of child custody cases. Our team of English speaking lawyers will guide you through the process and assist with achieving your aims all at affordable rates for our professional service.

Contact Us

Contact our experienced English and Thai speaking Lawyers for advice and assistance.

In Pattaya you can also contact

For information on the Hague Convention of which Thailand is a signatory see here. Where your child has or may have been taken or abducted from Thailand Isaan Lawyers can assist.