Thailand and Indonesia Laws Forbid Polygamy and Extramarital Sex

by admin on May 17, 2023


Indonesia has recently introduced a new criminal law that will prohibit sex outside marriage as well as living together as a couple, effective three years from now. Apart from its nationals, the country will also apply this law to all visitors, tourists, as well as foreigners residing in the country. However, tourists are unlikely to be affected by the new law as a charge by the parents, children, or husband or wife of the accused couple would be necessary for prosecution.

Under the newly proposed law, sex outside marriage is subject to imprisonment for up to one year. Unmarried couples who live together are liable to imprisonment for up to six months.

Present Thai law forbids polygamy as opposed to old law where Thai men were allowed to have “minor wives” legally. Moreover, a legal reason or legal ground for divorce is adultery.

Thailand family law recognizes monogamy as the only legally accepted type of marriage. The Thailand Civil and Commercial Code, as defined in Section 1452, states that a man cannot marry the wife of another person, and a woman cannot enter into marriage with another person’s husband. Section 1457 asserts that a marriage can only be valid and legally recognized if it is registered with a district office in Thailand.

Thailand divorce law as defined in the Thailand Civil Code, Section 1516, asserts that adultery is a legal ground for divorce, and adultery is prohibited under Thai law. Committing adultery or having extramarital sex is an illegal act under Thai legislation.


Photo credit: Garry Knight

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