Family Law in Thailand
If you are looking for a family lawyer in Thailand then you need to search for a lawyer in Bangkok or a lawyer in Phuket depending on where you are located or where your wife is located. Below is a brief breakdown of the most common family issues in Thailand. Always speak to a lawyer in Thailand for more information and proper legal advice.
In order to be legally married in Thailand you will have to register your marriage in Thailand with the local District Office. This process starts at the Embassy and the issuing of a “Freedom to Marry” letter which needs to be translated and certified by the Thai Foreign Affairs Office in Bangkok. Note also the marriage requirements which need to be met. If you had a traditional Thai wedding and have not registered the wedding with the Thai government then you are not legally married. Speak to a Thai lawyer for more assistance.
Obtaining a divorce in Thailand is a complex affair and most times becomes expensive when children are involved. You will need to seek legal advice before you agree to anything and allow your family lawyer in Bangkok to view what is best for you. Many times the divorce can be settled by agreement and a divorce agreement will be drafted and filed. Should there be no settlement then litigation is the only option. Note that if you did not register your marriage then you do not need to file for a divorce as a traditional Thai wedding without registration with the government is not a legally binding marriage.
Child custody in Thailand is complex as it comes to the fore on two occasions. The first is during divorce and child custody becomes part of the court’s ruling. If however it is an illegitimate child then you first have to apply for legitimisation to have you declared the father of the child and then file for partial or full custody. The court will make the final ruling as to who gets to be the person who hold parental control. This can be the father, mother or a court appointed guardian.
Having a prenuptial agreement is one of the best insurance policies you can have during marriage. The prenuptial agreement will have to be valid in Thailand as well as in your home country. This is very important. Also note that the prenuptial agreement needs to be filed at the same time as the marriage registration. Post-nuptial agreements are difficult and needs a court application.
Always seek proper legal advice in Thailand before you embark on any venture or sign any agreement. Proper legal advice can save you from a potential financial disaster later.