Marriage under Thai law can be terminated either by (1) death of either spouse, (2) divorce, or (3) revoked by the Court, the marriage being voidable.
The marriage can be dissolved uncontested, or it can be settled in the court. In most cases, when both parties agree to the divorce, the process is fairly straightforward. Unless you are disputing a property claim or have issues with spousal or child support, you can end the marriage without too much difficulty. However, that does not mean you should not contact an attorney for legal advice and help. You still need to have someone back you when you want to end a marriage. This stage in your life can be very emotional. Hence, you need to refer to legal counsel for sorting out the process.
Divorce means the dissolution of marriage under Thai law. In Thai jurisdiction, divorce is of two (2) types:
When the husband and wife voluntary aim and agree to terminate their marriage under Thai law and register the divorce on the terms and conditions set out by both parties on the matter of marital or jointly owned assets, custody of children if any, at the local municipality (known as Amphur). A Divorce agreement could be supportive in negotiating a settlement of matters mentioned above. Usually, as the name suggests, an uncontested divorce is easier to get. When a divorce is uncontested, or both parties agree to the divorce, everything is simpler and normally less expensive. Each party does not have to give a reason for ending the marriage. It is pretty clear-cut. Mutual consent is all that is needed when filing an uncontested divorce.
The documents required by the Amphur are as follows:
Once a divorce certificate has been issued by the Amphur, for the foreign spouse, the divorce certificate needs to be translated from Thai to English and legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before it can be registered at the Embassy of the country of the foreign spouse.
A contested divorce must be submitted to the court, as the divorce normally involves some type of dispute. Usually, the couple is entangled in a property disagreement or have a difference of opinion about child custody. In the case that the husband and wife is not able to agree on the terms and conditions of divorce set out by the other party, the other party can file a divorce petition on the grounds given in the Civil and Commercial Code at the relevant Court as scheduled in Section 1516 of the Civil and Commercial Code as follows:
Section 1516. Grounds of action for divorce are as follows:
Three types of couples who can file for divorce in Thailand. They include the following:
As you might suspect, divorce is easy when it is done between two Thai nationals, particularly if the divorce is uncontested. Regardless of your circumstances, you need to file a divorce at a district office when you both agree to end your marriage.
You may wonder what you should do if the marriage was held outside the country and one of you is from Thailand. In this case, check first to see if the marriage was reported at the district office where the Thai spouse resides. If so, you can easily file an uncontested divorce at the district office of the marriage registration.
If the marriage was not reported within Thailand, you need to report the marriage registration at a district office. The certificate of marriage will be needed and should be written in the Thai language. Also, the marriage certificate, if translated to the Thai language, needs to be authorized at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to confirm its authenticity.
As you can see, you need to be knowledgeable about how the divorce process works and how it will affect you. By calling an attorney, you can find out what you will need in terms of documentation and learn more about the steps of the process. Divorcing in Thailand involves some legalities that need to be reviewed fully before you submit a filing. Divorces in Thailand can end for one of various reasons. That is why you need to fully apprise yourself of your situation before you go ahead and file for divorce or void your marriage. Whether the divorce is mutual (an easy way to end a marriage) or complicated and costly (a contested divorce), you will find that following an attorney’s recommendations will help you achieve your needs with respect to a just and fair settlement.
If you have questions about divorce in Thailand, feel free to contact us at Siam Legal.
We provide clear guidance to our clients regarding Thai Family Law and give them informed decisions about their case. Consult us today.