Thailand is what is known in legal terms as a “Community Property” jurisdiction. This means that, in general, all assets acquired by either the man or wife during the marriage are considered to be the property of both partners. There are however exceptions to this rule. Exceptions may include: assets that have been specifically excluded from the community property of the marriage pursuant to a lawful Thailand Prenuptial Agreement, certain types of inheritance, and other classes of assets.
In the event of a divorce, all community property of the marriage is normally divided between the divorcing spouses. Community property can include real estate holdings, bank accounts, cash, financial assets, income, stock holdings, other assets and even debts.
Although community property will typically be divided equally between spouses, possessions that have been designated as “Separate Property” will be considered the assets of the individual. Assets are typically considered separate property if the owner-spouse acquired them before the marriage took place or if they are reserved as separate property pursuant to a valid Thailand Prenuptial Agreement. Certain types of gifts and inheritances and other classes of assets also may be considered separate property depending on the intent of the grantor.
Couples who are divorcing in Thailand should expect to find exceptions to various aspects of these regulations. Further, Thailand divorce cases where the marriage took place or the partners resided outside of Thailand, or the assets exist outside of Thailand, may present special issues of non-Thai Law in a divorce case. Cases involving international law or the law of other nations require specialized attorneys who understand these issues.