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Grounds for Divorce

in Thailand

These are the grounds for divorce in Thailand and also the reasons why many people file for divorce in Thailand. The statistics in Thailand for divorces is not very well known however we have included a break down of the most common reasons for getting a divorce in globally.

Reasons for Divorce globally

An annual study in the UK by management consultants Grant Thornton estimates the main causes of divorce based on surveys of matrimonial lawyers.

The main causes in 2004 were:

  • Extra-marital affairs - 27%
  • Family Strains - 18%
  • Emotional/Physical Abuse - 17%
  • Mid-life Crisis - 13%
  • Addictions, e.g. alcoholism and gambling - 6%
  • Workaholism - 6%

According to this survey, men engaged in extra-marital affairs account for 75% of the cases while women accounted for only 25%. In cases of family strain, women were the primary source which cited strain as their cause with 78% compared to 22% in men. Emotional and physical abuse was more evenly split with women affected in 60% and men in 40% of cases. In workaholism-related divorces men accounted for 70% of the total while women made up the other 30%.

The 2004 survey found that 93% of divorce cases were petitioned by women, very few of which were contested. 53% of divorces were of marriages that had lasted 10-15 years, with 40% ending after 5 to 10 years. The first 5 years are relatively divorce-free, and if a marriage survives more than 20 years it is unlikely to end in divorce.

History of Divorce

Divorce in Thailand has many implications. Looking back in history, divorce has long existed in civilizations, dating back to at least ancient Mesopotamia. The ancient Athenians liberally allowed divorce but the person requesting divorce had to submit the request to a magistrate. The magistrate then would determine whether the reasons given were sufficient. Although liberally granted in ancient Greece, divorce was rare in early Roman culture. As the Roman grew in power and authority, however, Roman civil law embraced the maxim, "matrimonia debent esse libera" ("marriages ought to be free"), and either husband or wife could renounce the marriage at will.

Marriage was later considered to be within the realm of civil contracts and civil authorities gradually asserted their powers to decree divorces. Since there were no precedents defining the circumstances under which marriage could be dissolved, civil authorities relied heavily on the ecclesiastic courts.

Ground for Divorce in Thailand

  1. a 3-year period of separation
  2. One spouse has deserted the other for over one year
  3. The husband has taken another woman as his wife
  4. The wife has committed adultery
  5. One spouse is guilty of misconduct (criminal or otherwise)
  6. One spouse has physically or mentally harmed the other
  7. Lack of Maintenance and Support
  8. One spouse has had incurable insanity for at least 3 years
  9. One spouse has broken the bond of good behavior
  10. One spouse has an incurable, communicable and dangerous disease
  11. One spouse has a physical disadvantage so as to be unable to cohabit as husband and wife.
Thailand Divorce Legal Guide
Local Office Numbers:
Bangkok: 02-254-8900
Phuket: 076-326-322
Chiang Mai: 053-818-306
Pattaya: 084-021-9800
International Numbers:
US: 1-877-252-8831
Thailand: +66 2254-8900