Filing of Divorce in Thailand

A divorce can be filed in Thailand by mutual consent. This means that both parties agree on issues such as division of marital assets, custody and alimony.

It is best to consult with a lawyer who is experienced in Thai family law. A good attorney will guide you through the process and ensure that your rights are protected.

Documents Required

Divorce in Thailand is handled through the court system and requires a lawyer to file a formal petition. The parties must also attend a hearing to discuss issues relating to children, maintenance and property.

A divorce is granted when the spouses agree to end their marriage. Those who do not have any disagreement can apply for an administrative divorce. This process is easier and quicker than a contested divorce.

However this type of divorce only works if the marriage is registered in Thailand and both spouses agree on all issues relating to their dissolution of marriage including the division of property and any child custody. It is essential that both spouses are present at the Khet or Amphur office for this type of divorce.

The other option is a contested divorce which one spouse can file on grounds of 3 years separation, adultery or desertion. The spouse filing a contested divorce must prove each of these grounds before the courts will grant a decree.

Petition for Dissolution of Marriage

Divorce in Thailand is available only by court judgment and is based on one of the grounds laid down in Thai law. A contested divorce takes more time and requires a lawyer to represent both spouses.

A contested divorce is also the remedy in cases where both parties to the marriage do not agree on all aspects of the separation such as division of property, spousal maintenance and child custody. The contested divorce process in Thailand is typically much longer and more expensive than an uncontested divorce.

A contested divorce in Thailand may only be filed by the plaintiff who is normally the person who initiates the divorce action (the petitioner). The defendant spouse must have been served with the notice of the claim and should have appeared in court at least once to respond to the complaint. The costs of the contested divorce are higher as more hearings are required and these expenses are charged against the court fees paid by the plaintiff.

Divorce Agreement

A divorce agreement is a contract drawn between a couple that determines issues such as division of assets, property and debts. It is an alternative to pursuing a court divorce and having a judge decide these matters for you.

When you have an administrative divorce you will need to prepare a divorce settlement agreement in advance (preferably in Thai) and have two witnesses present at the district office for registration. This is a requirement for any foreigner in Thailand who wants to get an administrative divorce.

Separate Property (sin suan tua) owned prior to marriage remains in the hands of the original owner while Community Property (sin som rot) is split equally with both spouses having ownership rights. This can be tricky in cases of a Thai-Foreigner marriage as you have to take into account the restrictions on foreign ownership of immovable properties in Thailand. This is why it is advisable to contact a law firm with experience in these matters.

Filing for Divorce

The process of registering a divorce in Thailand is not very complicated, especially if both parties agree to the terms of the divorce. However, it is always advisable for foreigners to have a Thai family lawyer like TFL prepare all the necessary documentation before you as a foreigner would want to register an administrative divorce at a government District office in Thailand.

It is also very important for a couple to agree on all issues concerning their marriage including division of assets, custody of children and any alimony settlements. Failure to do so will result in a contested divorce. A contested divorce can take much more time, money and physical court appearances to resolve.

Divorces in Thailand can be either administrative or judicial. An administrative divorce can be registered at the Khet or Amphoe District offices and does not require a Judge or court proceedings. A judicial divorce must be filed through the court system and requires a judge to make a ruling on issues regarding property, custody of children and any alimony.

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