Family Law in Thailand

Family Law in Thailand

Family Law in Thailand

# Family Law in Thailand:

Family Law In Thailand. A Guide for Expats and Foreign Nationals.

If you are a foreigner who is married to a Thai citizen and wants to get a divorce in Thailand, you may have many questions and concerns about the legal process and the consequences for your children and assets.

In this article, we will provide some basic information and guidance on family law in Thailand, based on the experience of Isaan Lawyers, a leading law firm that specializes in family law cases for foreigners.

Marriage and Divorce in Thailand. Family Law in Thailand.

According to the Thai Civil Code, marriage is a contract between a man and a woman who has reached the legal age of 20, or 17 with parental consent. Marriage can be registered at any district office in Thailand, regardless of the nationality or religion of the parties. However, if one or both parties are foreigners, they must obtain a certificate of freedom to marry from their embassy or consulate in Thailand before registering their marriage

Divorce in Thailand. Family Law in Thailand.

Divorce in Thailand can be either by mutual consent also known as an uncontested or administrative divorce or by
court judgment also known as a contested or judicial divorce.

Divorce by mutual consent is simpler and faster, as the parties only need to file a joint application at the district office where they registered their marriage, along with their marriage certificate and identification documents. They can also agree on the division of property and the custody and support of their children in a divorce agreement, which will be binding upon them.

Divorce by court judgment is more complicated and costly, as it requires one party to file a lawsuit against the other party at the family court, based on one of the grounds specified in the Civil Code.

These grounds include adultery, desertion, imprisonment, physical or mental harm, misconduct, incurable illness, insanity, or irreconcilable differences. The court will then decide on the dissolution of the marriage, as well as the allocation of property and the custody and support of the children, after hearing the evidence and arguments of both parties.

## Property of Husband and Wife in Thailand. Family Law in Thailand.

The Thai Civil Code distinguishes between personal property and marital property of husband and wife. Personal property consists of assets that each spouse owned before marriage, or acquired during marriage by inheritance, gift, or other means that do not depend on the marriage.

Marital property consists of assets that both spouses
acquired during marriage through their joint efforts or expenses, or that are used for their common benefit. In principle, personal property belongs to each spouse separately, while marital property belongs to both spouses jointly.

However, there are some exceptions and complications that may arise depending on the circumstances of
each case.

For example, if one spouse uses his or her personal property to acquire or improve another property
during the marriage, that property may become marital property or partly marital property. Likewise, if one spouse manages or benefits from the other spouse’s personal property during the marriage, he or she may acquire a right to share in that property upon divorce.

Therefore, it is advisable for spouses who have significant assets or different nationalities to make a  prenuptial agreement before marriage, which can specify how their property will be classified and divided in case of divorce. A prenuptial agreement must be made in writing and signed by both parties in the presence of two witnesses and must be registered at the same time as the marriage registration at the district office. A prenuptial agreement cannot contain clauses that are contrary to public order or good morals, such as waiving alimony rights or forfeiting inheritance rights.

## Custody and Support of Children in Thailand. Family Law in Thailand.

The Thai Civil Code recognises two types of parentage:

legitimate and illegitimate. A legitimate child is a child born
after the marriage of the parents, the parent’s marriage after the birth of a child, and a child whose father has registered the child.

Please note that a child is always the legitimate child of the mother.

An illegitimate child is a child born of a father and mother who did not register their marriage, a father and mother who did not register their marriage after the birth of the child, and a child whose father did not register the legalization of the child.

The rights and duties of parents and children are generally the same regardless of their legitimacy status.

However,
there are some differences in terms of inheritance rights and surname rights. Legitimate children inherit equally from
both parents according to the law, while illegitimate children inherit only from their mother unless their father acknowledges them as his children. Legitimate children also bear the surname of their father unless otherwise agreed by their parents, while illegitimate children bear the surname of their mother unless otherwise acknowledged by their father.  


In case of divorce by mutual consent, the parents can agree on who will have custody and how much support they will provide for their children in their divorce agreement.

The district office will register their agreement along with
their divorce application. In case of divorce by court judgment, the court will decide on these matters based on the best interests of the children.

The court will consider various factors such as the age, sex, health, education, welfare,
preference, and relationship of the children with each parent.
The parent who has custody has the right and duty to care for and raise the children until they reach legal age (20 years old), while the parent who does not have custody has the right to visit and contact them regularly.

The parent who does not have custody also has the duty to pay child support to the parent who has custody until they reach legal age (20 years old) unless otherwise agreed by both parents or ordered by the court.

## Conclusion
Family law in Thailand can be complex and challenging for foreigners who are married to Thai citizens and want to get a divorce in Thailand. Therefore, it is important to seek professional legal advice and assistance from experienced lawyers who can help you understand your rights and obligations under Thai law and protect your interests in court or out of court.

If you need help with any family law  in Thailand matters please contact Isaan Lawyers at

[email protected]

or
visit our website at https://isaanlawyers.com/family-law-thailand/ for more information.

Email Us: [email protected]

Telephone Us: +66 084-4715775

In Pattaya? visit our sister company https://anglosiamlegal.com

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