Filing of Divorce in Thailand

Divorce in Thailand is easy if you and your spouse agree to end the marriage. The process is straightforward and is registered at a local district office (known as amphur).

You must both personally go to the amphur to register an administrative divorce. You must also have no disagreements over child custody and property.

Divorce by Mutual Consent

This type of divorce can be obtained if both husband and wife agree to dissolve the marriage. It is a simple procedure and is usually less expensive than a contested divorce. It also takes a shorter time to complete. The couple must agree on all aspects of the divorce including, but not limited to, the division of marital or jointly owned assets, custody of children if any and alimony if applicable. It could be useful to consult a Thai lawyer at this point to draw up a settlement agreement in both languages, especially if the spouses are foreigners.

The process is similar to what is termed Uncontested Divorce or Administrative divorce in other countries. However, the requisites and the procedure may be different from one country to another. In Thailand, the couple must also have their marriage registered at the local registrar office. This must be done in the presence of at least two witnesses according to Section 1514 of Civil and Commercial Code.

Divorce by Mutual Agreement

A divorce by mutual agreement can be a quick and easy process in Thailand if the spouses are able to agree on everything. This type of divorce does not require any ground to justify the end of the marriage, but a couple must agree on things such as child custody, property division and alimony before registering their agreement at the district office.

Both spouses must attend the registration of the divorce at the district office personally and they need 2 witnesses in accordance with section 1515 of the Civil and Commercial Code. However, it is still a better option for couples to proceed with a proper court filing, as this will make the divorce agreement more valid and indisputable in case of future disputes.

When a couple is getting a divorce by mutual consent, it is important that any agreements (like loans or gifts) concerning personal assets are dissolved as these contracts are considered as Undue Enrichment (sections 406 to 419 of the Civil and Commercial Code). This will avoid any issues in the future when a dispute arises regarding the inheritance of children.

Divorce by Petition

It is a contested divorce and one of the grounds that allows a person to go to court and bring an end to his/her marriage. This can happen when there is disagreement on matters such as child custody, alimony and property sharing between the couple.

If both parties agree to this type of divorce, it is easy and can be done at any amphur office. Both spouses should be physically present, bring a copy of their passport and two (2) witnesses. Some amphur offices may request a translation of the passport from a foreigner, it is recommended that you call the amphur office ahead of time to verify their requirements.

If the person filing for divorce (Plaintiff) is living abroad a lawyer can normally file on their behalf as the Court has jurisdiction over the matter. However, the plaintiff will normally have to appear in person during the case and provide basic evidence. The respondent will then have the opportunity to file a response to the petition if they disagree with information presented in the complaint.

Divorce by Court Order

Divorce by court order is a legal separation resulting from the dissolution of a marriage registered in an administrative process at one of Thailand’s District offices (Khet or Amphur). It is the remedy when spouses are unable to come to a mutual agreement on issues such as division of assets and properties, child custody and alimony.

To file for a divorce by court order, the couple must submit all of their supporting documents including the marriage certificate, passports of both spouses and national ID cards. They must appear together in person at the office where they registered their marriage.

The grounds for divorce in Thailand are as stated in the Civil and Commercial Code s. 1516. Some of the most common grounds are adultery, infliction of serious injury or abuse, desertion for more than a year and separation for three years. If you find any of these grounds applicable to your marital situation, consider consulting with a firm such as Isaan Lawyer International to provide the best solution for your case.

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