Divorce in Thailand

Divorce in Thailand refers to the legal termination of a marriage. This can be done through a court decision or by the Amphur (district government administrative office) when both spouses agree on the terms of the divorce. This technique is more cost-effective, expedient, and straightforward compared to the process of a disputed divorce.

In Thailand, a divorce is a legal dissolution of a marriage that necessitates a mutual agreement between the spouses regarding the allocation of marital assets, child custody, and the amount of spousal support to be provided. If this is unattainable, both parties have the option to submit a petition to terminate the marriage to the district court in their locality, citing one of the divorce reasons specified in section 1516 of the Civil and Commercial Code.

In this instance, the judge will declare the termination of the marriage, considering all relevant elements, such as the law and the specific circumstances of each party involved. Thailand operates under a 'community property' system, meaning that any assets owned by a married couple or jointly owned by individuals are regarded as communal property and are subject to compulsory legal regulations.

This can result in ambiguity regarding the allocation of properties between the parties following a divorce. Under such circumstances, it is imperative for the involved parties to establish a formal written agreement outlining the specific arrangements for property distribution, child custody allocation, and the handling of debts and liabilities.

Additionally, it is important to guarantee that a divorce resulting from mutual agreement is officially documented and validated through the endorsement of two witnesses, as stipulated in section 1514 of the Civil and Commercial Code. This procedure can be conducted either in a district office or within a law practice.

Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that the document is accurately translated into Thai and that the spouses have a clear comprehension of the content they are endorsing, in order to prevent any potential complications. This is particularly crucial for couples who are non-native speakers of the language, specifically Thai-Foreigner couples.

After a divorce by mutual consent has been officially documented and verified, it is necessary to register it at the amphur in order for it to hold any legal significance. Both spouses are required to be physically present during the registration process and must provide their signatures on the documents.

In order to establish their identity, the couple is required to bring a marriage certificate together with their passports or Thai identification cards. In addition, individuals should bring any separation agreements that were established during the marriage, as well as a prenuptial agreement, if it is relevant.

The divorce is also valid if it is granted under article 1518 of the Civil and Commercial Code. This article states that the right to file for divorce ends if the spouse who is entitled to it forgives the act that caused the right to file for divorce in the first place. Opting for forgiveness can be a more pragmatic alternative to a trial, as it is less time-consuming and expensive.

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