February 23, 2018

Thailand Divorce

Q: What is the difference between an Uncontested and Contested Divorce in Thailand?

A: If both spouses agree to the divorce, the divorce is referred to as an uncontested divorce or a consensual divorce.

If you married in Thailand and registered your marriage at a local district office in Thailand (Khet or Amphur) you may register an administrative Thailand divorce. Performing an administrative divorce at the local district office requires that you and your spouse do not have disagreements over child custody or assets. Therefore, in marriage where there are children or assets involved, a written agreement is normally advised. At the district office, couples must fill out Thailand divorce forms detailing the terms of divorce and other matters for their Attorney. The divorce must be certified by two witnesses. A translator is also required if either or both parties do not understand Thai language. All forms and documents are completed in Thai language.

If the spouses cannot agree to the terms of the divorce, the divorce is referred to as a contested divorce. Contested divorces are handled in the Thai Courts. In order to proceed with a divorce in this instance one party, known as the plaintiff, will need to assert grounds for divorce if the contested divorce cannot be settled by agreement prior to the court’s taking evidence, then the plaintiff must appear in court to testify to establish the grounds for divorce.

Q: In the case of a contested divorce, what are grounds for divorce in Thailand?

A:* A 3 year period of separation

*One spouse has deserted the other for over one year

* The husband has taken another woman as his wife

* The wife has committed adultery

*One spouse is guilty of misconduct (criminal or otherwise)

*One spouse has been imprisoned for more than one year

*One spouse has physically or mentally harmed the other

* Lack of marital support

*One spouse has had incurable insanity for at least 3 years

*One spouse has broken the bond of good behavior

*One spouse has an incurable communicable disease

*One spouse has a physical disability so as to be unable to cohabitate as husband and wife.


Foreign Nationals and Thailand Divorce Law

In general, foreign nationals may obtain divorce in Thailand so long as they can establish minimum residency requirements in Thailand. If the couple married in Thailand, the Thai court, absent other considerations, will normally accept jurisdiction of the divorce case in Thailand. However, cases need to be examined on an individual basis.

If the divorcing couple did not marry in Thailand, and in most circumstances, they do not qualify for an administrative uncontested divorce at the District Office (Khet or Amphoe). However, provided they meet other requirements, a divorce may be applied for through the Thai courts, and grounds for divorce must be stated in the complaint (see the grounds above). However, cases need to be examined on an individual basis.