Divorce in Thailand is an important legal issue for both Thai and foreign couples who are considering ending a marriage. It is an important step because it marks a formal termination of the marriage in accordance with Thai law, and it can have serious effects on both parties, their children, and their assets and debts.
There are two main types of divorce in Thailand: contested and uncontested. A contested divorce is the more costly and complex of the two. The parties can file a petition to the court based on grounds for divorce, which includes adultery, abuse and abandonment among others.
The most common ground for a contested divorce is an incompatibility of personalities. If the couple does not get along, or there are disputes over issues such as child custody, property division and alimony, it is important to have an experienced divorce attorney represent both parties in court proceedings.
One of the best ways to ensure that your divorce in Thailand is handled smoothly and in accordance with your wishes is to seek legal counsel from an expert in family law who can speak both English and Thai. This is particularly important if your spouse does not speak English or is unfamiliar with Thai culture.
You can also obtain a Thai divorce from an administrative office if you meet certain requirements. This process can be faster and more cost-effective than the contested divorce procedure.
In order to qualify for this option, you must have lived in Thailand for at least a year and you must be legally married. You will need to fill out a divorce form at the local district office (referred to as the "amphur" or "amphoe") in your area.
If you are not a citizen of Thailand or you do not have a Thai passport, you will need to be able to provide your foreign ID or other official document as proof of your identity. You may also need to produce your home country's diplomatic documents as well as other legal documentation related to your divorce.
The most common type of administrative divorce is known as a "divorce by mutual consent." This is the easiest and fastest way to obtain a Thai divorce. It is often used for those who do not want to go through the complexities and expense of a court divorce.
A marriage in Thailand creates jointly owned marital property, which is subject to a property division between the husband and wife upon divorce. If there is a dispute over the ownership of jointly owned assets or debts, the matter may be settled by negotiation between the parties.
Another possible solution is for a party to draft a divorce agreement. A divorce agreement outlines the terms of the divorce such as the division of property, child custody, and alimony. A divorce lawyer can assist with drafting a divorce agreement that is acceptable to both parties, and which can be legally registered at the district office or in court proceedings.