Divorce in Thailand
Divorce in Thailand can become very complex. Getting divorced in Thailand can be very expensive if there is a dispute over child custody or property. Most divorces in Thailand tend to be by mutual agreement where the parties decide to move apart, draft a divorce agreement and simply file this with the District Office.
Divorce in Thailand
With foreigners however litigation appears to be more common. Always take legal advice from a family lawyer in Thailand before you embark on the road of divorce. Below are the basics for a Divorce in Thailand.
Grounds for Divorce
- – You or your Thai wife have committed adultery;
- – Your wife/husband has embarrassed you with their behaviour leaving you ashamed;
- – If your wife/husband has tortured you physically or mentally;
- – Your wife/husband has deserted you for more than a year (prison sentences are included);
- – If you have not lived together for 3 years because of fighting and arguments;
- – You have not supported your wife as you should (not paying for household upkeep);
- – If your wife/husband has been declared insane;
- – Your wife/husband suffers from an illness that does not allow you to live together.
These would be the grounds for divorce in Thailand. There also the most common defences for these which are listed below for these grounds for divorce. These basic reasons are listed below.
Divorce Legal Defences
- – You have not committed adultery as your wife gave permission;
- – You have not embarrassed your wife to the extend to file for divorce;
- – If you have been a model husband and you wife is a difficult person;
- – You did not desert your wife as you told her you would be working overseas;
Normally divorces are defended to ensure that an order for damages is not filed in the process. Leaving a divorce and thinking it will go away is not a solution. Note that if you only had a ‘village wedding’ where the marriage was not registered then you don’t need a divorce as you have never been married. Many foreigners think that a traditional wedding without registration requires a divorce – it does not.
Divorce agreements when drafted properly can solve most issues in a divorce. You have to speak to a family lawyer as to what you are willing to let go of. Going to court and spending 100,000THB over a 50,000THB item would make no sense. Many times some “horse trading” gets things done. Most disputes are about property and these are normally a trade-off. Children on the other hand are more difficult. Child custody is very important as the child or children have to live somewhere. Many expats tend to return to their home country and wanting to take the children with them. These tend to be the biggest disputes.
Divorce in Thailand can be costly and can drag on for years. Take proper legal advice in Thailand and speak to a lawyer before you sign any agreements or make any offers which you might later regret. Apply common sense and take good legal advice.