Prenuptial Agreements in Thailand
Many expats don’t want a prenuptial agreement as Thai laws are not the same as the laws in their own home country. The problems do occur when they move back to their home country years later and end in divorce and Thai laws are no longer applicable. This is an oversight which will cost them dearly.
Property in Marriage:
Property in Thailand during marriage is divided into two separate categories. These are Sin Suan Tua and Sin Somros. In the West this would be Sin Suan Tua (private property) and Sin Somros (community of property).
Sin Suan Tua (Private Property):
- – Property you owned before marriage;
- – Tools for your profession;
- – Property you received during marriage but not as a couple;
- – Engagement gifts.
Sin Somros (Community of Property):
- – Property you bought during marriage;
- – Gifts given to you as a couple;
- – Fruits of the private property;
Note that debts are seen as being joint if both consented to the debt or the debt was incurred for maintaining the household or the debt of a business which is jointly owned by the spouses. Property owned before marriage is where most foreigners fall foul and end in litigation back in their own home country. The prenuptial agreement will ensure that this does not occur. Note that the prenuptial agreement must be registered at the same time as your marriage as the District Office or Amphurs Office in Thailand.
The prenuptial agreement needs to be signed by both parties with 2 competent witnesses. Your Thai fiancée also needs independent legal advice and they have to provide a letter to state that they had explained the prenuptial agreement to her and that she understood. The most common defence during divorce is when she claims that she did not understand what it is that she was signing.
Prenuptial agreements when drafted in Thailand needs to be drafted so that it not only covers Thai laws but also the laws of your home country. This is very difficult to draft and a standard agreement will not suffice. In order for the prenuptial to be legal it needs to:
- – Not contain any clauses which are against public order or good morals; or
- – Not contain a clause providing a foreign law to be applicable; or
- – Must be made in writing and signed by both parties with two competent witnesses; and
- – It must have been registered with the marriage.
Speak to a lawyer in Thailand for more information and search this website for more information on marriage in Thailand and also your visa options.